A DEVASTATED Halesowen dog owner is raising awareness and funds for research into a rare blood disorder which killed her pet dog.

Lynne Gallagher's three-year-old golden retriever Maisy died of a blood disorder called Auto Immune Thrombocytopenia (AITP) - the condition is rare but if caught early can be treated.

The 57-year-old, of Raddens Road, wants to save other pet owners from enduring the heartache of losing their furry friends.

She is staging the Walk for Maisy this Sunday (May 1) at 2pm at Hartlebury Common in Kidderminster and is appealing for anyone, dog owners or not, to come along to show their support.

The common was Maisy's favourite place.

Lynne has also started a JustGiving page for the The Royal Veterinary College Animal Care Trust to start a research project.

The married mum-of-two, who is an accounts assistant, said: "I do not want any other dog or family to go through the heartache we have.

"The research is vital to understanding the causes and treatment for this cruel disease.

"Maisy went from being a healthy, active dog to being unable to stand within days.

"When we had the blood results back from the vets they said she had zero platelets meaning she bled to death.

"She had probably had a stroke as the internal bleeding progressed into her body and brain.

"The effects of the bleeding was if she had been in a major car accident."

Halesowen News:

The family's nightmare started on January 31 when Maisy vomited for a whole day.

She seemed better and was drinking okay and eating small amounts.

The vets thought she had a sickness bug and prescribed an anti-sickness jab, antibiotics and a probiotic.

She developed pain in her neck and bloodshot eyes which the vet thought could be a haematoma caused by pulling on the lead.

Maisy was given a painkiller injection in her neck and prescribed eye drops and booked an appointment for the next day.

The day (Wednesday February 2) Lynne said was the "day our world fell apart."

By the time the appointment came around Maisy could barely stand.

The vet said she was very sick and had to be kept in.

Lynne said: "I kissed her and said mummy will see you later.

"She never came home.

"The vets rang at around 10pm to say there was nothing they could do.

"They said Maisy had no blood platelets (these help the blood to clot if you cut yourself) and even if we could get a blood donation from another dog there was no guarantee that she could be saved and she would not be the same dog.

"She had gone blind in one eye and couldn't walk.

"She said that if we had a pot of gold she couldn't save her.

"We had to make the heartbreaking decision to put her to sleep."

Lynne has also e mailed local vets asking them to display information on the condition.

She has also started a Facebook page called AITP & Lepto Awareness in Dogs to share information.