The Blackpool dog with nine lives

Jethro undergoes two major surgeries in a matter of weeks.

A Blackpool dog has proved that it’s not just cats that have nine lives – after surviving two major surgeries in a matter of weeks.

Unlucky six-year-old Basset Hound Jethro first went under the knife at Blackpool PDSA Pet Hospital for major surgery to remove his infected ear canal.

With the help of his owner Denise Felton, Jethro was able to make a swift recovery. However, his tale of woe continued when the unlucky pooch was forced to go under the knife again – this time to remove an unspecified foreign object that was lodged in his stomach!

Denise, who is disabled due to a condition affecting her bones, turned to PDSA for help after she was unable to afford the £2,000 needed at a private vets for Jethro’s ear surgery.

She said: “Jethro is my absolute world, I don’t know what I would do without him.

“I had to both take out a loan and fundraise to cover £4,000 worth of vets’ bills in the past. My insurance company refused to cover the extra costs and I simply couldn’t afford to pay anymore.”

“The private vet then recommended I contact PDSA, which was the best decision I have ever made.”

PDSA vets spent several weeks trying to get the infection under control. However, his ear canal was damaged beyond repair. Further tests showed that the infection present in his ear was also resistant to antibiotics. Thankfully, despite the risks of the procedure including nerve and brain damage, PDSA vet Jennifer Jackson was able to carry out a successful three-hour operation to remove his problematic painful ear canal.

Images showing Jethro's post-operation scar and his PDSA vet with his x-ray

Jennifer said: “Serious ear infections can be quite common in floppy-eared breeds, such as Basset Hounds due to the shape of their ears and the type of bacteria Jethro was suffering with can be very difficult to treat and cause pain and misery. Once established, his infection was resistant to many antibiotics and caused a lot of damage inside the ear.”

“It became clear that removing Jethro’s ear canal was the only course of action we could take to help alleviate his pain in the long term. We were able to send him home soon after the operation and we were very pleased with the progress he made post-surgery.”

Denise thought her beloved dog was in the clear – only to see him struck down by a mystery illness just weeks later.

An X-ray revealed a mystery foreign object that Denise suspected Jethro had swallowed on a walk. Once again Jennifer was called to perform surgery to remove the foreign object from Jethro’s stomach. Without treatment, this could have passed into the narrow gut causing tearing or even a blockage to occur.

Jennifer added: “It’s likely that Jethro would have died without surgery, so it’s a good thing that Denise brought him in when she did and that we could operate before he deteriorated further. Sadly, Bassett Hounds can suffer from many breed-related conditions due to their body shape such as ear, eye, skin and back conditions to name but a few.

“He really has been through the wars in recent months, thankfully, Jethro has made a full recovery and is now doing really well.”

Denise added: “Jethro would not be here today without the amazing vets at Blackpool PDSA Pet Hospital. The level of care he has received has been second to none.

“It has been a rollercoaster of a few months, but thankfully Jethro is on the mend.”

PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity. Through our 48 Pet Hospitals and Pet Care scheme, we save the lives of poorly pets who would otherwise be left untreated.

Every year, we helped over 388,000 pets. Without us, emergency cases like Jethro's would be left untreated and many pets could lose their lives or be separated from families who love them.

We wouldn’t be here for dogs like Jethro without your support. Please consider donating today.

Give pets like Jethro a fighting chance

Pets who have been there for us during the pandemic deserve somewhere to turn when they need life-saving treatment.

Your help will save pets like Jethro

Every £1 donated will help us make sure sick and injured pets get the treatment they desperately need.

Donate to PDSA

Where to next

Get a free Pet First Aid guide

Our vets have put together a special Pet First Aid guide with handy tips, advice and steps to follow if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation where your pet is in danger.

Download now

Sign up to our newsletter

Want to read more stories like Jethro's, keep up with the latest pet wellbeing news, or perhaps you just want to support PDSA? Get your latest PDSA news with our Newsletter.

Sign up today