A family from Hemel Hempstead are appealing for the public's support to help their dog, Poppy, get surgery.
Samantha Muffett, from Adeyfield, bought Poppy during the first lockdown for her children, and although she has always had issues with her weight gain, she recently found out that the 21-month-old coton noodle will need surgery to find out what the problem is.
They have already used half of the pet insurance on scans and vet bills to get to this stage and they have now set up a fundraising page in an effort to raise the remaining £4,000 needed for the operations.
She said: "I bought the puppy when she was nine weeks old in the first lockdown for my ASD (autism spectrum disorder) kids, we have all bonded with her she is amazing, funny, happy little lady.
"Last September I came downstairs and found her covered in sick and diarrhoea.
"I cleaner her up and took her to the vets and they did tests and said everything looked okay.
"She has always had issues with weight gain my old vets said she is fine so I changed vets and finally Barton lodge decided she needed to see a specialist.
"They said that she looked like a rescue dog because of how skinny she was, which was heartbreaking.
"We went to the specialist who did ultrasounds and bloods, they said she had thickening in her bowel.
"The specialist tried lots of different things and Poppy still won’t put weight on, the vet has now decided that she needs more investigation work as they believe she has a liver shunt, gastrointestinal syndrome and her teeth have grown wrongly so it’s affecting her gut as apparently it’s all linked.
"She also has issues with her mammary glands due to hormonal issues.
"Poppy is meant to be 5 to 6kg and she is currently 3.3kg and never seems to be able to get bigger than that.
"We have insurance but it’s already half used and now we have been told it will be another £7000 to £8000 to do the operations, CT and also removing the top teeth that are causing her issues with her eating.
"I am disabled, my children are autistic and we just can't afford £8,000, she needs the operation to find out what is wrong, and to fix it.
"We have to sit her and watch her suffer, she is eating but she is sick after, she is now also suffering with reflux and separation anxiety.
"I've contacted the RSPCA and Dogs Trust to see if there's any support, but there isn't, we are at the point where we have no option but to ask for support for the remaining amount needed."
To make a donation to the Go Fund Me page visit: www.gofundme.com/f/help-with-poppys-surgery.