Praise for vets who saved puppies’ lives

A VETERINARY practice has been labelled ‘one in a million’ after helping to save the lives of two puppies with a condition so rare that vets had never heard of it before.

Jayne May, a dog breeder with more than 20 years experience, said her life was turned upside down after her golden retriever puppies were diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disease last year.

But after months of care by vets at Watkins & Tasker, she has been left feeling like she has won the lottery.

She said: “Ninety per cent with the condition have to be put down. Vets were scratching their heads because they didn’t know what to do.”

Jayne, who lives in Kingsmead, Nailsea, said the survival of Hope and Whitnie was only possible because of the sheer determination of the vets.

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She said Steve Tasker and Liz Watkins, who work in Nailsea, Portishead and Yatton, were ‘one in a million’. She also praised nurse Penny James for her ‘exceptional’ kindness as she spoke to her daily to keep the practice informed of any changes in Hope and Whitnie’s condition.

She added: “We have had to call vets out at 3am on occasions.

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“When you don’t know what the problem is, you have hope. But when I did know I wished I hadn’t.

“The first thing they told me was that it wasn’t cancer and I thought my prayers were answered but this condition, nobody knew about it.

“I don’t know whether it was vet skill, luck, strong will or God. I wasn’t religious, but I now am.”

Mr Tasker said it was something he had never come across before, with the illness more common in Bernese mountain dogs from Switzerland.

He said: “With cases like this you have to think outside the box a little and do your research about something you don’t have much experience with.

“It’s not an easy thing to diagnose and it can affect the eyes, nose, chin and the skin.

“I think the fact that we got hold of the problem early is a credit to Jayne for not being afraid to come and see us.”

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