The Blackpool dog with nine lives

Denise Felton, with bassett hound Jethro.
Denise Felton, with bassett hound Jethro.
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A Blackpool dog has proved that it may not only be cats that have nine lives – after surviving two major surgeries in a matter of weeks.

Unlucky six-year-old Basset Hound Jethro had his first operation at Blackpool PDSA Pet Hospital for major surgery to remove his infected ear canal.

Vet Jennifer Jackson found an unidentifiable object in Jethro's stomach.

Vet Jennifer Jackson found an unidentifiable object in Jethro's stomach.

Jethro made a full recovery, but was soon forced to go under the knife again to remove a foreign object lodged in his stomach.

Owner Denise Felton, 54, from Marton, is disabled due to a condition affecting her bones, and turned to PDSA for help after she was unable to afford the £2,000 needed at a private vets for Jethro’s ear surgery.

She said: “Jethro is my absolute world, I don’t know what I would do without him.

“I had to both take out a loan and fundraise to cover £4,000 worth of vets’ bills in the past.

"My insurance company refused to cover the extra costs and I simply couldn’t afford to pay anymore.

"The private vet then recommended I contact PDSA, which was the best decision I have ever made.”

PDSA pet hospitals nationwide help animal owners who are in receipt of welfare benefits with the cost of their veterinary care, and provide 2.7 million treatments annually to pets throughout the UK.

The vet spent several weeks trying to get the infection under control, but Jethro's ear canal was damaged beyond repair.

Further tests showed that the infection present in his ear was also resistant to antibiotics.

Fortunately, despite the risks of the procedure including nerve and brain damage, PDSA vet Jennifer Jackson was able to carry out a successful three-hour operation to remove his painful ear canal.

Jennifer said: “Serious ear infections can be quite common in floppy-eared breeds, such as Basset Hounds, due to the shape of their ears.

"The type of bacteria Jethro was suffering with can be very difficult to treat, and can cause pain and misery.

"Once established, his infection was resistant to many antibiotics and caused a lot of damage inside the ear."

Ms Jackson said it became clear that removing Jethro's ear canal was the only course of action they could take to alleviate his pain.

The pet hospital were able to send him home soon after the operation and we were very pleased with the progress he made post-surgery.

Denise thought he was in the clear, until he was struck down by a mystery illness a few weeks later.

An X-ray revealed a mystery foreign object that Denise suspected Jethro had swallowed on a walk.

Jennifer was called to perform surgery to remove the foreign object from Jethro’s stomach, and without treatment could have passed into the narrow gut causing tearing or even a blockage to occur.

She said: “It’s likely that Jethro would have died without surgery, so it’s a good thing that Denise brought him in when she did and that we could operate before he deteriorated further.

"Sadly, Bassett Hounds can suffer with many breed related conditions due to their body shape such as ear, eye, skin and back conditions to name but a few.

“He really has been through the wars in recent months but thankfully, Jethro has made a full recovery and is now doing really well.”

Denise said: “Jethro would not be here today without the amazing vets at Blackpool PDSA Pet Hospital.

"The level of care he has received has been second to none.

“It has been a rollercoaster of a few months, but thankfully Jethro is on the mend.”