Ernie, a French Bulldog puppy, is facing a life-changing operation to correct a serious problem with his hind legs.

The 10-month-old was relinquished to the National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) in Clacton when his owners could no longer cope. Poor Ernie has a painful condition in his hindlegs which is causing him pain and reducing his mobility which is very frustrating for a young dog who wants to play. After being examined by the local vet, it was determined that both hind legs required an urgent operation.

The operation will cost more than £2,000 and NAWT will carry out the surgery, but as a charity, they are appealing for help raising these funds.

Stacey Sheppard, an Animal Care Assistant at the NAWT said, “He is in quite a lot of pain and it is emotionally distressing for him because he is so young.

“He’s eager to chase toys and zoom around but his legs just can’t do it and he is crippled with pain. Our vet has confirmed that Ernie has bilateral patella luxation.

“This means is that his kneecap is dislocating out of position as he moves, so he can’t extend his knees properly leading to lameness and a lot of pain.”

Ernie needs an operation so he can have a healthy puppy life. Credit: NAWT

According to staff, Ernie is full of exuberance and cheekiness, and loves having a cuddle. For now, he cannot live the life of a normal puppy, but the National Animal Welfare Trust is determined to change that.

Centre manager at the Clacton centre, Lizzie Reffell said, “Ernie needs surgery on both legs so that his kneecaps stop sliding out of position.

“Because this is such a big operation, it has to be done one leg at a time. Ernie is just a baby and struggled being in a kennel environment because he just loves to be around people.

“Thankfully, we’ve found Ernie a lovely foster home where he can be kept calm to give his legs the best chance of healing.”

Ernie’s first operation is booked provisionally for April 16.

Lizzie added, “We desperately need to raise urgent funds towards these operations. We will do what we can for this gorgeous dog but we need your help.”

If you would like to help Ernie on his journey to becoming a happy healthy puppy, you can donate on his JustGiving page.

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