Willow was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. We got her in 2010 as a companion for our older Staffie, Megan and in all honesty, Meg chose Willow. We’d taken her with us to see the pups and she showed a clear preference for Willow so that was it. Decision made.
Over time, her owner noticed that while out walking, Willow’s gait would change, her back legs seemed to become stiff and she seemed uneasy. A trip to the vet later and a diagnosis of a pulled muscle put her owner’s mind at rest for a while but then it happened again but this time was captured on video (below)
Once again the vet said it was a pulled muscle but Willow’s owner wasn’t happy with this explanation and sought advice from another vet, (Rowan’s, near Preston – thank you!) The vet there (Drew) suggested it may be L-2-HGA and organised tests. Sadly, they confirmed that Willow was suffering from this debilitating disease. Although only showing mild symptoms, it was distressing to watch but now there was a reason for it.
Willow was a happy loving soul for the most part but as time went on, she would withdraw and take herself off to a quiet room to be on her own.
Sadly, Willow took a turn for the worst one day and showed major aggression towards her sister. Her family had always said that once Willow’s quality of life was threatened, they would do the hardest but kindest thing for her and on the vet’s advice, took the decision. Willow was only 3 years old. Needless to say, everyone who knew Willow was devastated. It was hard to face up to the fact that we wouldn’t see that cheeky little face any more or get the cuddles she loved so much.
Her family decided to turn their experience into something positive and set up this blog for other L2 owners. They have also worked on L2 pages and groups on Facebook with vet, Harvey Carruthers, and set up Willow’s own Facebook page and now a fund in her name to pay for L2 tests for dogs in rescue.
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