A pet dog has been saved from going blind – thanks to an £8,000 facelift.

Junior the Bloodhound had a rare disorder, had not grown into his skin properly, and the weight of the excess flesh above his face caused it to fold and cover his eyes.

The problem resulted in a disorder called entropion, which could have resulted in permanent blindness if left untreated.

Specialist surgeon Gary Lewin has given Junior a new lease of life though, removing the excess skin and allowing him to see clearly.

Junior’s owners, Denise and David Smart, from Selby, have had him for five years and said they noticed he seemed to be in a lot of pain in his early life.

David, 42, said: “He was in constant pain; he could hardly see. It was just a freak chance he didn’t grow into his skin – the vet said he’d never seen a case of this with a bloodhound.”

Denise, 49, said: “His vision was so impaired he couldn’t see at all, he used to get quite grumpy. We had seven dogs at the time and he was really twitchy with the others when they came up behind him.

“We kept thinking he might grow into it, but he never did.”

The couple took Junior, whose father Fortitude was winner of Best In Breed at Crufts 2009, to their local vet, and were advised to take him to specialist Gary Lewin, near Penrith, who performed the £7,812 facelift to save the animal’s sight.

Denise, 49, said: “Gary said he’d done the same for about 500 spaniels, but the weight and volume of the skin on Junior’s head made it the most difficult operation to do.

“He’s a lot less grumpy and aggressive now. He can still be nervous, but he’s a lot happier with life.”

The couple said they were covered by their Petplan insurance policy.

David said: “We wouldn’t have done it if we didn’t have the insurance – we’d have ended up with a blind, grumpy dog.”

Denise said: “We didn’t have to think twice about helping him.”

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Dog’s best friend

BEFORE the 18th century, dogs were kept for hunting and defence, not as pets. These days though a dog is man’s best friend and, as Junior the bloodhound has discovered, man can dog’s best friend too.

Or man and woman to be precise. Poor Junior was going blind, getting ever grumpier and in constant pain. So owners David and Denise Smart took him to the vets where they were told their dog hadn’t grown into his skin properly and needed an operation. One that would cost nearly £8,000.

Fortunately the couple had taken out pet insurance which took care of the bill and now the five-year-old mutt has a new lease of life. Thanks to dog’s best friend.

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