‘Vets should have seen my dog when I first called up...’

Jodie Suffield with her children Frankie-Wayne and Lacey-May with Honey the dog. Picture: Sarah Standing (143429-416)
Jodie Suffield with her children Frankie-Wayne and Lacey-May with Honey the dog. Picture: Sarah Standing (143429-416)
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DOG lover Jodie Suffield was left heartbroken when her beloved pet Zeus died.

But she believes he could have been saved if a vet had seen the dog sooner.

The 22-year-old rang Alver Vets in Forton Road, Gosport, when bull mastiff Zeus began to vomit.

As she did not have insurance or any cash to pay upfront, Jodie wanted the vets to treat Zeus and set up a payment plan.

But they told her she would be better off phoning the PDSA charity for help.

By the time she called the PDSA, which said it would be willing to treat Zeus but at its Portsmouth surgery, Alver Vets had closed.

As Jodie did not have the money to travel to Portsmouth, the PDSA suggested she wait until the morning and get back in touch with Alver Vets.

The following day Jodie found Zeus face down in his water bowl covered in blood, so she immediately rang Alver Vets, which agreed to see him.

But when she took Zeus to the vets, they put him down.

Jodie, who still has bull mastiff Honey from the same litter as Zeus, said: ‘My kids are devastated.

‘Their father gave them the dogs for their birthdays.

‘Zeus went everywhere with my three-year-old.’

Jodie said she still does not know the reason Zeus died, despite a meeting with the veterinary practice manager.

Now she is worried that Honey may have the same condition. She said: ‘I’ll have these questions with me for the rest of my life.’

Jodie has set up a Facebook page so that others can share their experiences of Alver Vets and it already has 80 likes.

Andrew Pitkeathly, clinical director of Alver Vets, said that he could not comment on individual cases but that his staff would always provide advice to help people with pets in need.

He said: ‘If any animal is in distress then we have a duty of care to see that animal.

‘If somebody rings and tells us the symptoms we will without hesitation see them.

‘I cannot comment on what was said on this particular occasion but I am confident that we go further than we have to help.’

He said that if somebody tells them they are in financial difficulty they would offer advice to help them at a low cost.

He said: ‘Our advice could be the difference between a £150 bill or the cost of a taxi ride into Portsmouth.’