A MANNINGTREE couple have started a fundraising campaign following their beloved dog's surgery.

Joe Mashford and Kerry Attfield have set up a GoFundMe page after fears they would lose Rufus, their two-year-old golden cocker spaniel after a period of ill health.

Rufus had been under the weather for some time, with the couple first noticing behavioural changes in July.

Following an initial trip to the vets, they went home with pain relief for Rufus.

The following day, Rufus was poorly and unwilling to get up. 

Joe said Rufus' body was trembling and the couple feared they would lose him.

Blood tests, x-rays and ultrasounds yielded no answer as to what Rufus was dealing with.

However, antibiotics and pain relief seemed to help his condition.

Joe said: “He really turned around quickly and we thought although frustrating to not get an answer he seemed as though he was on the mend and going to be fine.”

Rufus later required another vet visit while in the care of the couple’s friends, so Joe and Kerry returned home from a trip away.

Their vet referred Rufus to a specialist in internal medicine and he has since been tested for Addison’s and liver dysfunction, both of which came back clear.

Vets later found a foreign body in Rufus’ abdomen, what they believed to be either single or multiple grass seeds.

The couple received a quote of £8,000 for the scans, consultations and surgery needed.

Needing a £4,000 deposit, Joe and Kerry scraped together the funds through various sources, including using money from Kerry’s savings, putting some on Joe’s credit card and borrowing from Joe’s dad.

While Rufus’ surgery went well and vets are optimistic, the couple are now looking for help to recoup the funds.

This includes repaying those who lent money, raising enough for Kerry to pay her tax bill in January, an outstanding amount on payment plan and to cover possible further medication for Rufus.

Joe and Kerry’s GoFundMe page can be found at gofundme.com/f/xwpnds