A charity which specialises in rescuing an ancient Chinese breed of dog is looking to rehome a wrinkly puppy which is limping around on wonky legs.
Ruby the five-month-old Shar-Pei wags her tail and loves to play with people and other dogs.
But the mischievous mutt has developed carpal laxity, a musculoskeletal condition which causes the ligament in her front legs to move around more than normal.
As a result, she shuffles around awkwardly and could face being permanently disabled without the right treatment.
The friendly puppy has been taken in by the Shar-Pei Rescue of Great Britain which will look after her and fund her treatment until she is well enough to be rehomed.
Ruby doesn’t understand her limits and constantly tries to climb stairs and jump on the sofa – and then has no way to get down without potentially hurting herself further.
Paul Saxton, who runs the charity in Nottingham, said: “She is going to be having some physio and massaging, hopefully she won’t need an operation.
“Other than her legs, she is in really good condition. Her eyes and ears are fine.
“She is a lovely-natured puppy. She is very kissy and friendly, with both people and other dogs.
“When her previous owners picked her up as a puppy her legs were fine but then they dropped.
“With some love and care, physio, rest and recuperation, we’ll hopefully get her there and someone will be able to have a lovely dog.”
Carpal laxity can be caused by malnutrition or overnutrition of rapidly growing large breed puppies.
It causes weakness and irregular tension between extensor and flexor muscle groups, which leads to the looseness of the carpal joint.
Ruby is a Shar-Pei, which is one of the world’s oldest and unusual dog breeds.
However, the dog breed nearly became extinct in the 1960s and 1970s under China’s communist government.
It is thought there were as few as 12 left in the world in the early 1970s.
It prompted Hong Kong businessman and Shar-Pei enthusiast Matgo Law to write a letter to the US magazine Dogs in 1973 to highlight the breed’s plight.
A number of Americans then imported puppies and this helped save the Shar-Pei, which was at one time in the Guinness Book of World Records as the rarest breed.
Once she has been treated and rehabilitated, Ruby will be one of the hundreds of animals saved by the Shar-Pei Rescue of Great Britain.
Paul Saxton added: “The Shar-Pei is a unique breed. When you get a litter of collies or boxer dogs, they all look the same but with a litter of Shar-Pei they are all different.”
To help fund Ruby’s treatment, visit the SPRGB Facebook page or http://www.sharpeirescue.me.uk/
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