Gers: to save their patou, this couple must go to Italy for a last chance operation

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Picked up almost two years ago by Christine Thomas in Peyrusse-Grande, Marley is a 21-month-old patou who suffers from dysplasia. To try to save him, his masters will go to Cremona, Italy for the last chance operation on September 26th.

From the top of his two years, Marley is not a patou like the others. In a week he will have to undergo a major operation… in Italy. More than 50 kg on the scale and an overflowing energy but out of the question to run in the vast garden of his mistress in Peyrusse-Grande, Christine Thomas. For good reason, he has hip dysplasia, a genetic disease diagnosed during an x-ray several months ago.

Christine Thomas has adopted three Patous with serious illnesses.

Before being adopted by this English couple, settled in the Gers since 2004, the young dog lived through the first hectic months. Abandoned in a shelter, adopted and then sent back and all this three times, he ended up being welcomed by the Thomas family more than a year ago with two other patous: Bella and Mac. “They lived in atrocious conditions, some were born of consanguinity,” says Christine Thomas.

After the death of their first owner, eight patou were saved by the association “Les Amis des Animaux”. “We found Bella who had been lying for several days next to her owner,” says Christine. Placed in different foster families, most of them still suffer today from traumas and illnesses, some of which are incurable.

Too tall to have surgery in France

“We discovered the same day after adopting them that Marley and Mac had dysplasia, explains Christine. Due to the seriousness of his case, Mac was operated on immediately, without complications”. But for Marley, it’s a different story. He was either too young for one operation or too old for another. His physical condition is deteriorating day by day.

Marley was born with a genetic condition, hip dysplasia.

Marley was born with a genetic condition, hip dysplasia.

“He needed a prosthesis for both sides of the hip but each specialist we went to see was not the right size for a dog of this size,” says Marley’s owner. It was while documenting that the couple came across a specialist in Italy, in the city of Cremona, who agreed to operate the patou. Cost of the operation for both hips: 10,000 euros.

“The UK could have been an option”

French-speaking insurance would not allow the cost of the operation to be covered, according to Christine Thomas. For England, the organization was far too complicated, especially in terms of transport. This is why a crowdfunding campaign was launched. More than 5,300 euros in donations were collected. But there are still nearly 4,600 euros to be collected within two weeks to finance the fitting of the second prosthesis.

“A lot of people think it’s not normal to spend that amount of money on an animal, but my dogs and my cats are my family.” And with four dogs and a cat at home, organization is key. Journey, dog sitter, rearrangement of rooms: nothing is left to chance for Marley’s convalescence. “We don’t have a crate suitable for his size when he has to lie down, so we have set up a corner with a fence made for sheep,” says Christine.

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