When one-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier Winston was brought to the RSPCA centre in Essex, staff noticed that he wasn’t the same as the other dogs.
The stray came to the centre at Christmas time, and was struggling with his walks and gait.
Kathy Butler, branch animal support worker, said: ‘When Winston arrived we realised he had a roached back, appeared tense through his body and did little skips when he was walking.
‘A few days after he arrived, when he was out on a walk, he collapsed.
‘We took him to the vets and started monitoring him very closely.
‘We started to notice the tensions through his body, his odd wobbly gait – where his back end hops, skips and jumps – and his muscle cramps.
‘We also noticed that he’d struggle when reaching down to his bowls with his hind legs rising up off of the floor.’
After numerous tests at the vet, it was found that Winston has an unusual double mutation of L2hga (or L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria) a debilitating genetic disease found in Staffies and some other breeds which can cause wobbly walking, fits or collapses, muscle cramps.
It’s not only debilitating for poor Winston, and without a cure or major treatment, but it also could see his lifespan significantly shortened.
That’s why the RSPCA are desperate to get the good-natured pup into a loving home that care for him in a way he deserves.
Kathy says: ‘We’ve now got Winston on medication and supplements, as recommended to us by vets, but what we really want is to find him an understanding and loving new home where he can enjoy his life – however long left of it he has.’
The ideal home for Winston would be one where there’s another dog for him to be best friends with.
He’s known as something of a bright spark at the centre, and like many Staffies is treat motivated when it comes to learning new things.
Although he’d prefer not to live with a cat, he can live with teenagers, and he also walks well on a lead apart from his wobbles (which thankfully don’t cause him any pain).
‘He’s a lovely natured lad who hasn’t had a great start in life and can be a little worried by new things and strange situations,’ continues Kathy.
‘But he’s incredibly friendly, loves people and enjoys being with other dogs.’
If you think you might be able to give Winston a steady home, check out his online profile on the RSPCA website.
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