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AHT specialists give dog its sight back

Animal Health Trust (AHT) surgeons have restored a two-year-old rescue dog’s sight following complex surgery to remove a cataract.

Rufus, a Chinese Crested Powder Puff dog, received his sight back in one eye following the surgery. The sight in his other eye will be restored once he undergoes a further procedure.

Rescued from an abusive home by the Chinese Crested Club of Great Britain, Rufus’ poor vision was noticed by his foster family. Upon taken him to the vets, it was discovered that cataracts in both his eyes meant that he could only see shadows.

Rufus was rehomed to a foster family in Cambridgeshire so that he could benefit from the AHT’s team of ophthalmology specialists, the largest in Europe. To have the operations, Rufus needed to overcome two hurdles. The first hurdle was raising the funds for the operations, and the second was his behavioural problems. Thankfully, with a lot of hard work and care, both hurdles were cleared and Rufus can now see in his right eye for the very first time.

As Rufus is uninsured, his carer and the Chinese Crested Club of Great Britain held a fundraising campaign, raising money through a series of raffles, auctions and bucket collections.

Rufus’ carer Sarah said: “The task to raise the money was a bit daunting at first, but the amount of support the campaign has received has been really overwhelming. Rufus has had a tough start in life, but through obedience training and a lot of dedication, he is really coming along.

“The Animal Health Trust has been unbelievable. I know Rufus isn’t an easy patient, but they have been brilliant at persevering with him. To be able to give a rescue dog the gift of sight is amazing, and the AHT team has been really kind and supportive.

“Rufus is really sweet, once he gets used to you. It has been amazing watching him react like a puppy to things, such as birds in the garden! He has clearly never seen them before [and] it is so special to be able to watch him experience things for the first time.”

Head of ophthalmology at the AHT Claudia Hartley added: “I’m so glad that we have been able to help Rufus. He was such a scared little dog, due to the possible abuse he may have endured, and the fact that he was almost completely blind.

“To be able to undo an injustice such as this really makes my job worthwhile. We are confident that by the time he has had the second operation we will have been able to fully restore his sight. I hope Sarah is able to find him the good home that he deserves.”

Once Rufus’ sight is fully restored he will need an experienced owner to work to give him a loving home and work through his obedience and temperament problems. Interested parties are asked to email

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