A Burnley woman who is running out of options to save her dog's life following a five-month battle with cancer is appealing for help.
Madeleine Mcgrail must raise £1000 for her puppy Mylo, who is only 20-months-old, to have radiotherapy in Glasgow.
Her insurance cannot cover the full cost of the treatment and having already spent nearly five months taking him back and forth to various vets for tests and two operations, she cannot afford to cover all the treatment herself.
Madeleine said: "It all started when we lost Marley, our three-year-old Dogue de Bordeaux, to lymphoma cancer. It shattered our hearts into a million pieces and left a massive hole in our lives.
"Life was just not the same without him, so along came Mylo our Dogue de Bordeaux puppy who has helped us heal and made us happy again, even though he caused havoc in our life and every time we left him home alone we knew we would come back to destruction!"
When Mylo fell sick at an early age, vets thought it was oesophagitis. The illness occurs when acid leaks up the gullet, which irritates it and causes inflammation.
The pup began to lose weight, his tooth turned grey, and blisters and scabs developed on his body. Madeleine took him back and forth to the vets from June last year and finally in October a biopsy was taken of his mouth.
That's when she discovered he had cancer at just 16-months-old. Vets confirmed he had squamous cell carcinoma in his mouth, which in humans is the second most common type of skin cancer in the UK.
He was referred to The University of Liverpool's Small Animal Practice. But following a CT scan, vets advised Madeleine to have him put to sleep as they couldn't guarantee all the cancer would be removed.
"Our lives were shattered once again," she added.
"But I was determined not to give up. I gave him 24-hour care at home. I tried everything I could. I read all the latest tests that were being done on treatments for cancer. Frankincense, was one of them. I made my own and started to give it to him. I sat and hand-fed him until he was full. I nursed him. I wouldn't give up, even though another vet told me to put him to sleep and let him die with dignity. I knew deep down they were wrong."
So in January she returned to Liverpool for a second opinion and thanks to her hard work and determination, vets said Mylo's condition had improved and that he could have radiotherapy to push the cancer back. But still they refused to operate.
Madeline had him referred to The Fitzpatrick Learning Academy at Guildford Hospital. Following a second CT scan, she was told he could have an operation to remove all the cancer.
After six weeks of being told to give up on him, she was thrown a lifeline for her pup.
Fitzpatrick removed his lower jaw and all his lymph nodes, which make up part of the body’s immune system. They help carry oxygen and other nutrients to the cells, while carrying away waste products.
But despite the success of the surgery, the cancer had already spread and the pup began chemotherapy, which ultimately failed.
Later in January, Mylo became ill again.
"I knew the cancer was back so I took him to my vets in Burnley and they tried to reassure me," Madeleine said.
When tests proved her right, vets at Fitzpatrick removed half of the right side of Mylo's jaw where the cancer had reached. While it has been destroyed there, vets have discovered it in his nerve. It only takes one microscopic cell to be left behind for cancer to take hold again, so Mylo now needs radiotherapy and the tumour has been sent off to a specialist for DNA testing to find a chemotherapy drug.
"Any donations, no matter how small, will go such a long way in helping our Mylo beat it and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your help," Madeleine added.
"My thanks also go to Harley's Heroes as well as they have been a great support. They helped pay off some of the fees at Fitzpatrick's, and they send boxes with treats, toys and a blanket to dogs with cancer.
"I have fought so hard for him as he is part of our family and I can't just give up on him. He is a true fighter and is trying so hard to kick cancer in the butt."
To make a donation, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/help-are-pup-beat-cancer?fbclid=IwAR3KxKWjNUU9JfMUQc7sEz7fOX71wffkQnF4I803mUxS4rfoVQpdLHpB_vg