Owners of ‘lucky’ dog issue warning in aftermath of fall


The owners of a dog that miraculously survived a cliff-top fall last month have issued a warning after the poor puppy fell ill shortly afterwards.

The five-month old Cocker Spaniel dropped more than 100 feet after running over the edge at Beachy Head at the beginning of April. Coastguards said he was ‘one very lucky dog’ after seemingly suffering no injuries, although being a bit shaken when found on the beach.

On the coastguards’ advice, the owners took their pet pooch to the vets for a check over and discovered all was not as well as it initially appeared.

After being treated for shock by the veterinary nurses at St Anne’s Veterinary Group, the dog underwent an x-ray that showed a small wound, which was causing the space around the lungs that was usually under pressure to fill with air.

As the puppy’s lungs began to collapse and he struggled to breathe, the vets put a chest drain in to allow the lungs to inflate again.

He endured a very poorly first night under the watchful eye of nurse Natalie Weston before being placed on oxygen and given pain relief and antibiotics. The nurses continued to drain the air until the wound healed and the pressure in the space around his lungs was stabilised several days later.

The owners were keen to have their story told as a warning to others because although the dog appeared fine, had they just taken him home, the situation would have soon changed with potentially fatal results.

Following the dog’s dramatic rescue, the coastguards also issued a warning and advice about keeping pet dogs on leads when walking them along the cliff tops.

A spokesman for Dover Coastguard said, “With the summer now approaching and the weather getting better, we would like to remind dog owners to be very careful when walking their pets on the cliffs.

“The owner did the right thing by dialling 999 and waiting for help to arrive rather than trying to rescue the dog himself and getting into difficulties as we have specialist dog rescue equipment.”

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first case of a dog going over the edge of cliffs around the town and not all of them are as lucky as this Cocker Spaniel.

In November 2013, two dogs died in one weekend after both running over the cliff edge. The owners of one - an eight-month-old Labrador - called for warning signs around Beachy Head but Councillor Steve Wallis said, “It is, of course, tragic when dogs are killed at the cliff edge but I believe we already have the right balance of signage to warn visitors while not distracting from the visual impact of Beachy Head.”