PDSA saves Gillingham pooch after near fatal dog attack

PDSA vets have re-built the jaw of lovable Shih Tzu, Fifi from Gillingham, after a dog attacked her while she was being walked in a local park.

PDSA vets have re-built the jaw of lovable Shih Tzu, Fifi from Gillingham, after a dog attacked her while she was being walked in a local park.

Tracy Arnold (41) who has owned two-year-old Fifi, since she was a puppy says: “Fifi is a bundle of joy, she’s a wonderful companion and really good natured, which makes what happened to her so awful.”Fifi was out walking with Tracy’s neighbour, when she was viciously attacked close to her home by another dog.

Unfortunately, Fifi’s story is not uncommon. PDSA’s groundbreaking Animal Wellbeing Report* which assesses all aspects of animal health and welfare, reveals some worrying findings about dog behaviour with over 165,000 dogs found to show aggression to people on a weekly basis and over 400,000 showing aggression towards other pets.

The PDSA Report also uncovered that 64% of owners say they have been concerned or frightened by another dog’s behaviour, while 87% think owners should face tougher penalties if their dog attacks another person or animal.

Tracy explains: “Fifi looked terrible when I reached her. She was frightened, covered in blood and in pain. All I could think was that I needed to get help, so I rushed her to the PDSA PetAid hospital in Gillingham.”

On arrival at the hospital, Fifi was seen by PDSA Veterinary Surgeon, Helen Armstrong, who recalls: “When I first saw Fifi, she had puncture wounds to her head and a nasty fracture to her jaw. It was dreadful to see.”

Fifi was rushed into surgery where pins were usedto fix her jaw back in place. Fifi remained at the PDSA hospital for three days, being fed through a tube while she recovered from her surgery. Helen continues: “Fifi was a model patient. Despite her injuries her tail was always wagging.”

Thankfully, Fifi has gone on to make a full recovery and the metal pins around her jaw were removed seven weeks after the attack. Tracy adds: “It’s great to see Fifi running around again; she’s as good as new. Without the PDSA, I simply couldn’t have afforded the emergency treatment that was needed.”

Following Fifi’s ordeal, Tracy wishes to highlight the importance of dogs behaving properly and safely when in public: “As a result of the attack, Fifi is very scared of all dogs. I trained Fifi from when she was a puppy to obey basic commands. Dogs shouldn’t pose a threat to other animals or people which is why training pets to behave well is so important.”

PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Elaine Pendlebury, supports Tracy’s views: “There have been awful stories in recent years about dog attacks and it’s something that dog owners have to take very seriously. Owners have a responsibility for their dog’s behaviour and must consider the effect their dog’s behaviour has on others.

“Dogs should be socialised as puppies so that they aren’t frightened by their surroundings and can get on well with people and the other pets they meet. Early socialisation and training are key factors in this; it’s up to owners to make sure that they provide the correct support for their dogs to prevent them from feeling scared or being aggressive towards others.”

PDSA produces free downloadable leaflets on Behaviour and Training and many other pet advice leaflets which are all available at www.pdsa.org.uk/leaflets.

PDSA provides free veterinary treatment to the sick and injured pets of eligible owners in need. For further information about PDSA PetAid services please call 0800 731 2502 or visit www.pdsa.org.uk.

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