By IH 02/04 Updated: 04/04 08:35
THREE young puppies left to die at the side of the road are now enjoying life after being nursed back to health.
Pip, Gizmo and Annie were found in a cardboard box tied in a plastic bag with the worse case of mange a Southam vet has ever seen.
Near freezing January conditions meant the tiny pups, one only five weeks old and the others just seven weeks, would not have survived another 24 hours had they not been found by Mark Collins, from Napton, who stopped for a break in a lay-by Northampton on his way back from work.
Hearing a mewing sound he discovered a blue bin bag hidden under a hedge with the pups inside. Horrified at their condition, he rushed the tiny bundles to Avonvale Veterinary Centre in Southam, where they were treated by vets Connor Carson and Anita White.
“They were in an horrendous state with the most severe case of sarcoptic mange that I have seen in my career as a vet,” said Mrs White.
“Eighty percent of their hair had fallen out and most of it was in the box which showed they had been living there for some time, though it’s probable they were under the hedge for a couple of days.
"They had eye and skin infections, ulcerations and worms and needed several doses of treatment. It is clear the mother also would have been very sick.”
The puppies were dehydrated and the youngest, Pip, was near to death several times.
They were treated at the surgery but needed significant home care for the coming weeks. Fortunately for the trio the partner of the man who discovered them – Vanessa Hill - was a foster carer for Mid-Warwickshire Cats Protection and decided to look after them.
We advise that puppies should not be separated from their mothers until at least eight weeks of age, so these were already at a disadvantage regardless of living in such terrible conditions.
Vanessa said: “The little one, Pip, was extremely poorly and in the end I took her out of the pod and nursed her with feeds every half an hour. Mark suggested if she pulled through we’d keep her and it was quite funny as she really started to get better after that! She’s now exploring her new home which we share with cats, dogs, chickens and horses. ”
Although they were too weak to receive their initial vaccinations, which had to be delayed until they were stronger, the three are now all doing well at five-months-old.
Having found loving homes for the other two, Vanessa was delighted to return with Pip to Avonvale’s Southam surgery for a reunion with Gizmo and Annie.
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