A DOG owner has praised the local vets as ‘angels’ after helping his three month old puppy escape from the brink of death.

Minnie, a cavalier cross, was just seven weeks old when Tom Ellison-Newton, of Kendal, took her into his care.

The puppy was already quite poorly but Mr Ellison-Newton and his wife Louise were adamant to give it the best opportunity possible of survival.

Minnie fell dangerously ill after suffering from ‘Puppy Strangles’ rare form of an immune malfunction where the immune system starts to fight back.

The disease spreads on the skin, especially on the face, which then becomes infected with deep sores.

These sores can become so involved that they reach the lymph nodes of the neck causing the glands to swell and prevent the dog from breathing-hence the name.

Mr Ellison-Newton said the dog was lifeless and once she was in his care he took her straight to Westmorland Veterinary Group on Natland Road, in Kendal, where they began to treat her.

“If it wasn’t for these vets, she wouldn’t be here,” said Mr Ellison-Newton.

“The staff, especially Flora who has been treating Minnie, have gone way above and beyond their duty. They truly gave her the gift of life at Christmas.”

“She’s not quite out of the woods, but she’s slowly getting back to normal. It’s been quite scary and terrible to watch but Minnie has made a massive recovery.

“We wanted to give her the best opportunity possible and Flora has been truly amazing, she is an angel.”

Westmorland Vet Flora Belshaw, 25, said she was just pleased Minnie was doing so well.

“She’s gone through a lot at such a young age,” she said. “So I’m just thrilled that she’s responded so well to the treatment and I hope she has many happy years to come.

“Tom and Louise have also been phenomenal, they’ve been so dedicated, not many people would put so much into a young sick puppy.”

Now, despite the weekly visit to the vets Minnie is settling well in her new home and is also being taken care of by Mr and Mrs Ellison-Newton’s two 14-year-old cocker spaniels, Daisy and Nancy.

“We were never sure what the outcome was going to be,” continued Mr Ellison-Newton.

“We thought we would lose her, but it’s been lovely to see her slowly come back to normal.

“And the dogs have taken her in, they make a good little pack, Nancy has taken on the role of stepmother.”