When six-year-old Staffie Bentley came into the care of the RSPCA, his claws were so overgrown that they had become painfully embedded in his pads – the worst such case one RSPCA inspector had seen in the past 20 years.
Bentley was also suffering from a bilateral ear infection and a chronic skin disease which had caused extensive fur loss and scabs from head to toe.
“I was immediately struck by how thin he was and that he had an extensive skin condition and fur loss. I could also see that his claws were overgrown,” said RSPCA inspector Vicki McDonald.
“Ultimately Bentley had endured suffering unnecessarily”
“Bentley’s skin was very red, smelly, crusty and thickened and there were sores present with extensive fur loss. His ears appeared infected. His claws were significantly overgrown with several so long they had pierced the pads and become embedded and infected. They were the worst I have seen on a dog in my 20-year career.
“His skin condition had caused what fur he had to contain head to toe scab-like patches giving him the appearance of being mottled. Ian Podmore stated he had owned the dog for about 18 months to two years and that he was not on any veterinary treatment. He showed me some over the counter dog shampoo he said he had tried using but it had not resolved the problem.”
Bentley was discovered by the RSPCA in a property in Blackburn on September 21 last year. His former owner has since been given a given an eight-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and was banned from keeping dogs for ten years.
A vet from Greater Manchester Animal Hospital gave evidence to the court. She said, “Given the severity of Bentley’s condition on presentation, in my opinion he will have suffered for many days, as a minimum, likely longer. The low body weight will have taken many days or possibly weeks to have developed and would have left him experiencing weakness and debilitation.
“Ultimately Bentley had endured suffering unnecessarily. Regardless of the cause of the emaciation, ear disease, eye disease and skin disease and whether treatable or not, veterinary treatment should have been sought much earlier in this case.”
“Had he received help earlier he may well have survived”
Despite extensive treatment in the following weeks, Bentley did not recover and the vet made the decision to put him to sleep on humane grounds. Had he received appropriate treatment sooner, the vet added,his condition could have been managed.
Inspector McDonald concluded, “Bentley’s suffering was completely avoidable and unnecessary. Had he received help earlier he may well have survived. It’s imperative that people seek veterinary advice if their pet is showing signs of poor health and ask for help if they find themselves in a situation where they are not able to cope or meet their pet’s needs.”
Image by RSPCA