Dog owner forced to sell belongings to pay vet bill after pug struck down by ‘mystery’ illness

A dog owner has been forced to sell her belongings online including jewelery to pay for spiraling vet costs after her pet was struck down with a mystery illness. Nikki Sargent’s pet pug, Monty, has undergone multiple rounds of surgery after he was born with a congenital liver condition which has led to a number of complications and ongoing poor health. She says the total vet bills in the seven years she has had Monty amount to around £65,000.

The seven-year-old pug suffers from a liver shunt and blocked intestine which has led to constant sickness and diarrhea and regular trips to the vet to try and find out what is making the dog so ill. Nikki, from Croydon, has struggled to pay the mounting costs for Monty’s ongoing treatment and regular examinations while the vet investigates.

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Nikki has been trying to find the cause of Monty’s illness

Nikki, 53, who has had Monty since he was a puppy said: “Unfortunately from the time I brought him home, he’s been ill, he nearly died at five months, he’d been in and out (of hospital) and had two major operations on his liver. They’re not sure what’s wrong with him, he is a sickly dog ​​unfortunately.”

Nikki, who is in a wheelchair, is struggling with the costs for Monty’s treatment as the insurance she has only covers part of the cost. Explaining why she started a GoFundMe page Nikki said: “I’m sitting there with a £980 bill already, the insurance company will pay some of it, but when he goes back in the costs will go back up again.”

The mum also explained that the family has struggled financially after her husband suffered a stroke in 2017, leaving him unable to work. Nikki has also started selling items on Vinted, including jewelery to make money to help towards her pet’s treatment but says: “I can’t sell quick enough to keep up with Monty’s costs.”

She has also set up an Instagram page for the pooch which has 55,000 followers. The bill for Monty’s regular check ups include £300 for testing his liver levels and £200 for a full blood count which means a total of £500 for just one visit.

Nikki said selling the items online and fundraising has been a last resort in a bid to find out what’s wrong with Monty “I hate having to do it” she explained “it just makes me feel useless”. Monty is on medication for Colitis, which causes sickness and diarrhoea and is also being tested for possible Crohn’s, Addison’s disease and pancreatitis.



Nikki is desperate to know what is making Monty so unwell

The dog also needs to undergo a biopsy of the intestines and Nikki says they will be waiting for these results before taking next steps. She has described the support from people who have contributed so far as “wonderful and ‘amazing”.

Speaking about her close bond with her dog, Nikki said: “We kind of saved each other, he picked me when we went to choose him. He’s my Velcro pup, he’s just stuck to me all the time, he sits in the chair with me, I couldn’t imagine my life without him.”



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Despite the uncertainty and another round of upcoming tests Nikki remains optimistic about Monty’s future. “He has a will to live, he’s surpassed all expectations, he seems very strong,” she added.

But she is also aware of the impact of the ongoing treatment and that the findings could also bring further heartache: “As long as he’s ok in himself, I’d be willing to do anything to keep him well and with me, Monty’s got to tell us when he’s had enough.”

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