Cracker needs your help after suffering mystery illness in north Suffolk
With a name like Cracker this lurcher should be full of beans and bouncing with energy.
However Cracker is being cared for by specialist vets after a mystery illness saw his right foreleg swell to three times its normal size at his north Suffolk home.
As well as bringing anguish to the woman fostering him Cath Pickles, of Frostenden, near Lowestoft, the poorly pooch's illness will cost a charity dedicated to rescuing lurchers �4,000 to treat him.
Since Friday Cracker, who is about two years old, has been at Dick White Referrals in Newmarket and his treatment will be paid for by Southern Lurcher Rescue out of its scant reserves.
The lurcher was sent to the specialist vets after he started to limp in his indoor kennel at his temporary home at Frostenden on May 17.
Three days after limping Cracker, who was rescued at Christmas from Kent, his leg swelled up to three times its normal size.
Ooze then started to seep from his leg and flesh and fur began to peel away.
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It is still not clear what caused the devastating illness although vets said it was caused by some sort of vascular problem.
As vets try to find the root of the problem, an appeal has been launched to find fresh funds for the Southern Lurcher Rescue as the �4,000 vet's bill will effectively use up all of its reserves – money which could be spent on helping other dogs find new homes.
Mrs Pickles said Cracker has been playing in some fields the day before his illness broke out.
She said some ideas for the cause of Cracker's condition may be a cat scratch or an adder bite – although both were unlikely.
Mrs Pickles said: 'Without a doubt it has been the worst weeks of my entire life. It has been so unbelievably stressful.
'We just don't know what has caused it and what happened to Cracker.
'It was just horrendous to see what happened to him.
'He is a lovely, gentle, well behaved and a hilarious dog and I miss him not being here.'
The illness struck just as Cracker, who was believed to have been used by poachers or hare coursers, was getting ready to be re-homed.
Mrs Pickles thanked the vets at Dick White Referrals, which has capped its fee to �4,000, and at the Wangford Veterinary Clinic who also treated Cracker.
? Anyone who wants to help the Southern Lurcher Rescue's Cracker emergency fund can visit www.southernlurcherrescue.org.uk