Crunchie’s Story

When someone surrenders their dog to us, we guarantee that while they are in our care we will do whatever we can for them. While any dog under our guardianship has quality of life we will continue to fight for them. As we all know vets bills are not cheap. Crunchies bill is way into double figures with at least one more major operation to come. As a very small charity we rely on the good will and support of our followers and appreciate any donation no matter how small. 

Crunchies story is not a short read – but it is a worthy read, and if you take anything from his story it should be to always have the highest level of insurance you can afford, as one day this might be your dog. 


You may remember a post back in November about Crunchie a little boy who had undergone an urgent operation to stabalise his atlas and axis joint due to instability. Unfortunately what we hoped would be a straightforward operation and recuperation didn’t go to plan for Crunchie.

Crunchie had a scan 3 months post op to ensure that the implant was stable.  It was evident from the scan that at least one of the screws holding the implant in place had become loose, and a further operation would be needed. Crunchie had this operation at the beginning of February where the amazing vets put some additional screws in place to secure the implant.  Unfortunately 10 days after the operation Crunchie went downhill very rapidly. He was admitted to ICU and we were told that if he didn’t respond to treatment within the next hour then there was really nothing more that could be done. Remarkably in that hour his temperature rose by .5 degrees. This was the sign we all needed that he was fighting and deserved us to fight for him too. Remarkably Crunchie continued to respond exceptionally well to treatment and was discharged a few days later.  

In any usual update on a poorly dog this would be the part where the happy ending starts unfortunately this was not the case….. 4 days later after eating his breakfast and being relatively normal Crunchie suddenly suffered a seizure. The vets were consulted which ultimately resulted in Crunchie being referred to Davies Specialist Vets. Again Crunchie was very very poorly and every hour he survived was a blessing. Due to his implant the vets were unable to MRI and so carried out a CT scan with Ink which showed that Crunchie had a large abscess at the point of the operation spanning four discs. The abscess had also tracked along his spine and to his cerebellum, resulting in a large pocket of fluid along his spine. Crunchie was suffering from sepsis and again was a very poorly boy.  It also became apparent that due to the infection there was a very strong likelihood that the implants would have to be removed as they would never be clear of bacteria. 

We were unsure of what the options were going forward with regards to replacement of the implant or other alternative options. The costs for Crunchie were rising with every blink of an eye and his bills were already adding up to way into 5 figures. As a team we had to make the decision whether to continue with treatment and commit thousands of pounds more to what was quite literally an unknown outcome.  The team was unanimous in their view that whilst Crunchie was fighting so would we. 

Crunchie remained in the Vets for 6 days receiving antibiotics and fluids. He responded well to the medication and was discharged back to his fosterers. The plan going forward for crunchie is unclear, the implant will have to be removed, however the neurologist has confirmed to us that there are options available for him going forward however the main objective currently  is to get him clear of infection and strong enough to undergo what will be his 3rd major operation in 6 months.

YOUR DONATIONS help us to fund treatment for Crunchie and many other lifetime care dogs in our care… without your ongoing help we could not do what we do. Please help us to continue our work by getting involved in Spesh’s Legacy – an ongoing memorial fundraiser for our medical dogs.

To get involved click here

To make a donation:

Our bank details are sort code 309915, account number 26911068 and the business account name is The Red Foundation.
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If you’re a UK taxpayer, we can also claim gift aid if you’d be happy to fill in the form below.