Beloved Bear too ill for lifesaving heart operation

A CANCER survivor who raised £2,000 to pay for her beloved dog's heart operation has donated the money to charity after being told her pet is too ill to undergo the procedure.

Fran Kane, of Restalrig, was devastated to hear that her 20-month-old German shepherd Bear was too sick to undergo the lifesaving operation.

Ms Kane, 54, had come to rely on her faithful pet Bear when she was undergoing gruelling treatment for bowel cancer. Despite her own ill health, she managed to raise 2,058 with the help of generous Evening News readers.

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The pair managed to complete a sponsored walk to Musselburgh to raise funds, while dozens of readers chipped in with donations.

But they were told the operation was no longer possible following a blood test at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies a few weeks ago.

Bear also suffers from hip displacement, meaning it is too risky to perform the operation.

His condition has deteriorated since he was first diagnosed with a heart condition earlier this year.

Ms Kane said: "I'm absolutely devastated. I'm very attached to Bear, and I couldn't have got through the last year without him.

"It's really heart-breaking watching how tired he is all the time.

"He's got a lot worse over the last few months.

"Now he can hardly manage to go for walks and has to lie down a lot."

But she said she had been heartened by the generosity of donors, many of whom she had never met.

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She said: "I was very surprised by how many people gave me money, and wanted to help."

After donors refused her offer to return the money, she decided to share it between three animal charities.

These are the Edinburgh Cat and Dog home, German Shepherd Rescue and the Dog Aid Society.

Ms Kane bought Bear as a puppy 18 months ago, shortly after she had been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Fortunately her cancer was caught at an early stage, but she still had to undergo months of gruelling treatment at the Western General Hospital.

She is still taking steroids, and has to return for a check-up about every three months. She also suffers from osteoporosis, which often makes it difficult for her to leave the house.

Vets discovered Bear's heartbeat was abnormally low earlier this year. They told her he would only live for a year unless he had the operation, which was not available through the PDSA. Heart surgery for dogs is relatively rare, and only appropriate in a small number of cases.