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Patch's miraculous recovery!


When Patch arrived at our Southridge Animal Centre, staff weren’t sure what to do with the little Staffy.

Patch was suffering from a rare and complicated condition that meant he had to be fed in a special high chair. But now he’s found a new home, and has recovered enough to eat normally again!

Patch shortly after being rescued, and very underweight

Underweight and suffering

Patch was rescued in December 2016, having been handed into a vet practice in Worcester, severely emaciated. Shortly after this, we discovered that his owners had a second dog, Lulu, who had died of starvation. We launched an investigation and traced his owners.

Our Inspector Rachel Hayword said:

They were walking skeletons and their owners just sat there and did nothing. They kept them locked inside their flat, hidden away from view and watched them slowly die.

Patch was seriously underweight, but there was another problem that made rehabilitating him much more difficult - a medical condition called megaesophagus. This meant that his oesophagus was not functioning properly, so he couldn’t get food into his stomach easily.

Patch’s recovery

Patch in chair that he needed to be fed in due to his medical condition

Patch was just 9.8 kilograms when he first arrived with Ambleside Vets – around half of what he should have weighed. Committed veterinary staff provided round-the-clock care to get him up to 16 kilograms.

Once he’d gained enough weight, he was moved to Southridge Animal Centre, in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire. There, our dedicated staff set about trying to help him eat properly. He had to eat his meals sat in an upright chair, which allowed his food to move down into his stomach.

Mona Jorgensen, Southridge deputy manager, knew it wouldn’t be easy to find him a home where his new owners would be able to continue with this unusual eating routine. Luckily, the perfect owner came along.

Mona explained:

Patch needed a very special, patient owner who could dedicate the time and care he needed to feed him properly so he wasn’t sick. When Lulu Jenkins came along, we knew she’d be able to give him the care he needed.

But, before Patch went off to his new home in St Albans, he had some final tests with the vet which showed that his megaesophagus had improved enough for him to begin to eat normally.

Life for Patch now

Patch looking much healthier and happier in his new home

Patch is now thriving in his new home with Lulu and her six other rescue dogs – Wilbur and Treacle the mastiffs, great dane Scooby, jack russell terrier Buster, staffy Harry, and Aggie the mongrel – as well as horses, donkeys and alpacas.

Lulu tells us:

He is great and lives life to the full. He can eat normally and enjoys having treats and chews. He is utterly ball obsessed and loves chasing feathers from the geese when they’re floating around the garden. He is such a character and we love him to pieces.

Mona added:

Patch is doing absolutely amazingly and his recovery is a real miracle. We’re so pleased he can now lead a happy and healthy life, he is a truly lucky hound.

Help more dogs like Patch

If you could offer a dog a new home, you can search for dogs in need of homes in your local area.

To help us continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please make a one off donation online, or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).

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