A POORLY pooch could see clearly again after vets removed more than a kilo of excess skin in a dramatic facelift which required three surgeons.

Huge skin folds covered the eyes of 150lb Neapolitan Mastiff Neo and even had to be held back by his owners so that he could eat from his food bowl.

Medical experts from Eastcott Veterinary Referrals in Dorcan saved the day with a life-changing makeover carried out during lockdown which fixed his sagging eyes and eyelids..

Relieved owner Mark Hutchins from Chippenham said: “I know it sounds a bit mad when you talk about a dog having a facelift but it was a very traumatic time for the family.

“Neo was having a lot of problems with his face and eyes because he had so much saggy skin hanging down and he was in a lot of pain and discomfort. We even had to pull his skin back for him so he could see his meal and eat it properly.

“It was obvious something had to be done, although we were very worried that he wouldn’t look the same afterwards, especially my daughter Millie, who was a bit tearful over it all. Thankfully, the results have been amazing and made a big difference to Neo, who’s recovered very well, and we owe a big thank-you to the team at Eastcott.

“They were absolutely brilliant and Neo was operated on within three days of us contacting them, which was terrific.

“Now it’s all over, we can finally see the funny side of it and it’s already led to a few chuckles. When people say to me ‘Oh isn’t he lovely?’ I say ‘That’s because he’s just recovering from a facelift’.

“No-one believes me when I say the vets removed more than a kilo of skin, they think I’m joking, but it’s absolutely true and Neo’s all the better for it.”

Eastcott's head of ophthalmology Ida Gilbert headed up the urgent case and worked with specialist soft tissue surgeon Andrew Phillips and fellow ophthalmologist Dave Johnson to successfully tackle the eye-opening procedure and give Neo a new lease of life.

Ida, an advance practitioner in veterinary ophthalmology, said: “Neo was clearly struggling, so he was considered to be an urgent case and was prioritised for surgery. His vision was poor due to his eyelid conformation and extremely heavy facial folds. He had also developed very sore eyes because of the irritation from his condition.

“The constant irritation caused him to rub his eyes repeatedly, which worsened the situation, and he’d also become anxious about anyone attempting to handle around his eyes and face, which made the application of eye drops nearly impossible for his owners.

“A full investigation revealed the eyelids and skin folds were causing irritation to the cornea and putting him in a lot of discomfort. There was inflammation and damage to the left cornea, he struggled to open his eyes and had a double kink in his left upper eyelid and a single in the right, due to the excessive eyelid lengths.”

The talented trio operated on both eyelids while simultaneously completing the facelift to minimise the time Neo had to be anaesthetised.

The dog had his eyelids surgically corrected and shortened by 15mm along with an extra surgical procedure to stop them turning inward and outward as well as having 1,050g removed.

Andrew added: “He then stayed with us at the hospital overnight for careful monitoring of his recovery and provision of good pain relief.

“Everything went well and it has really given him a new lease of life and opened his eyes again to the world around him. He has healed very nicely and his owners report he is a much happier dog as a result of the surgery.”