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Camberley dog and Tilford cat survive life-threatening illnesses

Camberley dog and Tilford cat survive life-threatening illnesses

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 5:40am 8th November 2019.

Two miracle pet survivors from Surrey have been nominated for a national award.

Custo, a crossbreed dog from Camberley, and Jacob, a black-and-white cat from Tilford, had both seen their chances of living dwindle after suffering separate illnesses.

They both defied the odds by surviving risky surgeries, then required intensive care and lengthy stays at specialist veterinary hospitals, followed by months of dedicated nursing and recovery from their owners.

Custo’s Story

Ten-year-old crossbreed Custo is a much-loved member of the Day family in Camberley, particularly for Beth for whom he was a birthday present.

But their world was turned upside-down when he was diagnosed with an aggressive cancerous mass on his spleen in September 2018.

He needed urgent surgery, but the cancer had caused an autoimmune reaction causing his body to attack his red blood cells, meaning he was unlikely to survive.

The operation was a success, but Custo didn’t seem to be responding to treatment.

After discussions with their vets, the family decided to bring him home for his final days.

Owner Beth Day, said: “We had plenty of meds to keep him comfortable, and our local vets were on call to make one last home visit. It was heart-breaking, but we knew we could at least fill his remaining time with love.”

Around Christmas time, came their first glimmer of hope – vets suggested starting to reduce his medications. By July of 2019 he was so full of energy people thought he was a different dog.

The type of cancer Custo had has a high chance of reoccurring within 12 months, but 13 months later Custo is still cancer-free.

Jacob's Story

Cat Jacob from Tilford, was just weeks from his 17th birthday, when he had to be taken to Pet Doctors in Elstead after started vomiting blood in March 2019.

He needed urgent surgery and specialist care, so was referred to Lumbry Park Vet Specialists in Alton.

There, vets confirmed he had a potentially fatal infection of the abdomen caused by a burst stomach ulcer.

But his condition was complicated with a further diagnosis of pneumonia and cardiac complications, plus he had developed diabetes five years previously.

Jacob was a high risk for the urgent surgery he needed and his owner, Suzân Lewis-Jones was advised his chance of surviving was slim.

The operation was a success, but Jacob was still a whisker from death for the next five days.

He became anaemic and needed a blood transfusion, and he’d had a feeding tube fitted as he wouldn’t be able to eat properly while his stomach healed.

Suzan said: “Animals love unconditionally and see a person for who they are, not for their disability.

"My cats have always been there for me through difficult times, so I will always be there for them. Jacob went through far worse than I ever have, but I prayed every day to thank God for saving him, and for making sure he had the skills and care he needed to survive.”

Now at the grand old age of 17½ Jacob is well on the way to a full recovery. His care wasn’t covered by insurance, so Suzan took out loans to pay for his treatment, which have now reached five figures.

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