Owner’s plea after well-known Eastbourne dog collapses with mysterious illness

The owner of a well-known Eastbourne dog is calling for help after his pet collapsed suddenly with a mysterious illness.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 10:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 11:52 am
Mac is a mix of husky and malamute

Chris Simmonds is desperately worried for his husky-malamute cross Mac, who he says is like a child to him, and has set up a fundraiser to help offset the piling up vet bills – which his insurance will not cover.

The eight-year-old 40kg dog had been on his usual walk in Gildredge Park and was pottering in town when he suddenly was taken violently ill on Friday (November 29).

Chris said, “He’s usually a very lively dog, jumping around, howling. He just collapsed in Grove Road.

Mac has just celebrated his eighth birthday

“I tore the flat apart to see if he had eaten anything he shouldn’t have. The only thing I can think is it’s something he’d picked up in Gildredge Park, maybe he licked rat poison.”

Chris took his beloved pet to an emergency local vets but, after a day and a half of ultrasounds, blood tests, and fluids, they couldn’t figure out the issue. So the owner was advised to take Mac to receive specialised care at the Royal Veterinary College Hospital in Welwyn Greens.

He remains there in the care of experts “receiving the best care possible,” says Chris, but they are no closer to understanding what is wrong and how to get Mac back to the happy playful dog he usually is.

Chris said, “They still don’t know what it was. It could be anything. It could be this virus going around. They have ruled out anything big like cancer.

Mac became very ill suddenly

“He’s like family. He’s like my child. I spend about half my time walking him because he’s such a big dog.”

So far Max has racked up around £5,000 of vet bills for his owner, which the insurance will only cover £2,000 of. So the music teacher turned to the internet for help, setting up a fundraising page which has already raised more than £1,000 for Mac.

Chris said, “It’s blown us away the response. It really shows how popular Mac is. He stands out, he’s such a friendly and playful dog, people always come and chat with him, he’s got a big group of friends at Gildredge Park. People are always staring at him.”

The experience has also left him wanting to warn other owners to act fast if their dog get suddenly ill. He said, “Keep an eye on your dog, look out for the symptoms.”

The fundraiser, on Justgiving.com, says, “We know how close to Christmas this is but absolutely anything that you can spare to help this giant ball of fluff out will be so gratefully appreciated and paid back in tail wags, wet kisses and howls.

“If you‘ve met him you‘ll already know that he is the most charismatic and cheeky boy who loves cuddles, exploring and squeaky toys.”

To see the crowdunder, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mac-simmonds-1?utm_term=Der6QYkzv