He’s got liquid brown eyes, a loving nature and is bursting with energy, but springer spaniel Moss faces paralysis without an urgent operation.
Julia Baxter, 47, from Hythe, took the rescue dog in temporarily and he was due to re-homed until the experienced dog trainer spotted something wrong with the way he walked.
“There was something unusual about his gait,” said Julia, who took two-year-old Moss to the Hythe Vet Centre in Portland Road.
Neurological tests revealed that Moss was slow to respond. “He came home with me for several weeks but there was no improvement,” Julia said.
Vet Colin Armstrong sent Moss to North Downs Specialist Referrals in Surrey who broke the news that the young springer spaniel had spinal cord diverticulum.
The condition involves a fluid-filled cyst compressing the spine and is progressive. Left untreated Moss will lose the use of his back legs and become incontinent.
Julia said: “Moss came to me without any paperwork or insurance and it is not know what caused his condition. He could have been born with it, or it may have been caused by trauma.”
There is a race against time to help Moss as the longer he goes without surgery, the worse the outcome will be for him.
Julia raised money from family and friends to pay for his MRI scan and tests costing £2,200, but the operation itself costs £3,500 and there are likely to be extra costs for ongoing care.
The mum of four set up a JustGiving page in a bid to raise funds. She said: “Everyone who meets Moss falls in love with him. He’s soft and good natured and he wants to be with people. I just hope we can help him.”