Scarborough woman fundraising for surgery to help much-loved dog Rosie run

A Scarborough woman is appealing for help to raise funds for much needed hip replacement surgery for her dog Rosie.

By Corinne Macdonald
Friday, 12th March 2021, 9:47 am
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 10:56 am

Gemma Dowson, of Barrowcliff, has had Rosie, a one-year-old German Shepherd/ Husky cross, since she was an eight-week-old puppy.

As Rosie grew it became clear to Gemma that something was not right with her pet's hips.

Gemma explained: "I'm studying for a degree in animal behaviour and management at uni and as I was watching [Rosie] run I thought something doesn't look quite right.

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Rosie, who needs hip replacement surgery. Photo: Gemma Dowson

"So I took her for a scan and it showed the problem, she has hip dysplasia."

Hip dysplasia causes one or both hip joints to develop abnormally when a puppy is growing.

The condition is usually inherited and causes pain, swelling and eventually arthritis.

"Dogs usually don't get diagnosed until closer to one but because I was doing my degree I was able to notice it really early," Gemma added. "[Rosie] is such a placid friendly dog, it's unbelievable. She's always smiling.

Rosie's X-Ray shows the abnormal development of her hips. Photo: Gemma Dowson

"The specialists have said she's an ideal candidate for the surgery because she is so placid."

Rosie currently takes pain medication and joint supplements as well as undergoing weekly hydrotherapy but in order to live a normal life will need a hip replacement.

Gemma said: "She's insured up to £4,000 but to have the operation it will cost £6,000 plus a bit more for hydrotherapy afterwards.

"Unfortunately I don't have a spare £2,000."

Rosie has hydrotherapy weekly to help manage the pain. Photo: Gemma Dowson

Gemma has two other dogs, a terrier Jazz and a boxer named George. She had hoped that Rosie would be a playmate, particularly for George who has a lot of energy.

She added: "[Rosie] is only allowed a 15 minute walk on the lead a day and it is heartbreaking to leave her at home when I take the others out for a good run.

"I have got to be careful with her with the other dogs so she doesn't get carried away playing and injure herself.

"In her mind she's just a young dog that wants to play and run around so I am having to restrict her.

Rosie on her first birthday, with pal George. Photo: Gemma Dowson

"She's 40kg and has a lot of pent up energy from not being able to run around so it's really difficult.

"Without the operation she is never going to be allowed off the lead, it's no quality of life for a dog."

Gemma has set up a Go Fund Me page hoping that fellow animal lovers will donate whatever they can to help pay for the much-needed surgery.

If you would like to donate please visit the page here.