The owner of a famous TikTok pug says he was amazed at the generosity shown by followers after more than £ 14,000 was raised to support his dog that needed serious surgery.
Puggy Smalls, who enjoys long walks in the woods near his home in Cranbrook, has more than 912,100 followers on social media platforms and has kept the internet entertained during the pandemic.
But six weeks ago, he fell ill when he started showing signs of pain in his ears.
After an emergency trip to the vets, Puggy’s condition worsened and he was left with a permanent inclination of his head and balance so bad that he cannot go for walks.
Owner Nick Ettridge, 36, explained: “Where your ears were interfered with, a little liquid entered and your eardrums burst.
“He lost his balance very quickly and now he cannot walk without falling.
“He was very confused and my world collapsed when I saw him like this.”
Puggy, who is six years old, was then referred to a neurologist and underwent several blood tests, an MRI and a lumbar puncture under general anesthesia to check that there was no damage to his brain or nervous system.
The results were clear and they found that the problems were being caused by foreign bodies and the liquid left in their ears.
This means that he is constantly dizzy, deaf, visually impaired and suffers from nausea and confusion.
Mr. Ettridge and his partner Charlie Osman, 33, were told that Puggy would need surgery to correct the problem, but that, in addition to the tests, would cost about £ 12,000.
Since Puggy had an ear infection when he was a puppy, your pet’s insurance would not cover the cost.
In an appeal for help, Mr. Ettridge turned to Puggy’s loyal followers and was surprised by his response.
The 36-year-old said: “23 hours after the start of the Go Fund Me page, we’ve reached our goal and people are still donating now.
“In addition to the people helping, it is the thousands of messages from supporters that are incredible.
“Puggy has spent the past few years making everyone feel happy and I think that’s why they are supporting him now.”
Thanks to the support of his fans, Puggy is now taking a new medication and scheduled for an operation at the end of the month to fix his ears and get him back to normal, playful.
It is hoped that he may be enjoying walks in the forest with his sisters Pop the Sausage, who also has a large following online, and Pomegranate the Pomeranian in the summer.
Mr. Ettridge created an Instagram account for Puggy for the first time when he was just a 10-week-old puppy.
It wasn’t until three years ago that the dog became an internet sensation after a video of him coming out of an office draw went viral, reaching over a million views overnight.
“I started his social accounts as a way to show off my dog without annoying my friends on my own, I never expected it to become what it is,” said Nick.
Puggy is so famous that he even has his own website, blog, merchandise and a Wikipedia page.