Published: 11:53, 16 April 2021
| Updated: 15:10, 16 April 2021
The owner of a pug made famous by TikTok says he has been overwhelmed by the generosity shown from followers after more than £14,000 was raised to help pay for surgery.
Puggy Smalls, who enjoys long woodland walks near his home in Cranbrook, has more than 912,100 followers across social media platforms and has been keeping the internet entertained throughout the pandemic.
But six weeks ago he became unwell when he started showing signs of pain in his ears.
After an emergency trip to the vets Puggy's condition spiralled and he has been left with a permanent head tilt and balance so poor so he can't go out for walks.
Owner Nick Ettridge, 36, explained: "Where his ears got interfered with, a little bit and liquid went in and his eardrums burst.
"He lost his balance really quickly and he now can't walk without falling over.
"He was very spaced out and my world collapsed seeing him like that."
Puggy, who's six, was then referred to a neurologist and braved multiple blood tests, an MRI scan and a spinal tap under general anaesthetic to check there was no damage to his brain or nervous system.
The results came back clear and found the problems were being caused by foreign matter and the liquid left in his ears.
This means he is constantly dizzy, deaf, visually impaired and suffers from nausea and confusion.
Mr Ettridge and his partner Charlie Osman, 33, were told Puggy would need surgery to fix the problem, but this on top of the scans would cost around £12,000.
Because Puggy suffered an ear infection as a pup, his pet insurance wouldn't cover the cost.
In a plea for help, Mr Ettridge turned to Puggy's loyal followers and has been blown away their response.
The 36-year-old said: "Within 23 hours of starting the Go Fund Me page we met his target and people are still donating now.
"On top of people helping out, it's the thousands of messages from well-wishers that are amazing.
"Puggy has spent the past few years making everyone feel happy and I think that’s why they are backing him now."
Thanks to the support of his fans, Puggy is now on new medication and booked in for an operation at the end of the month to fix his ears and get him back to his normal, playful self.
It's hoped he could be enjoying woodland walks with his sisters Pop the Sausage, who also has a large online following, and Pomegranate the Pomeranian by the summer.
Mr Ettridge first set up an Instagram account for Puggy when he was just a 10-week-old puppy.
It wasn't until three years ago the pooch became an internet sensation after a video of him coming out of an office drawer went viral reaching more than a million views overnight.
"I started his social accounts as a way to show off my dog without annoying my friends on my own accounts, I never expected it to turn into what it has," said Nick.
Puggy is so famous, he even has his own website, blog, merchandise, and a Wikipedia page.
To donate to the fundraiser, click here. https://tinyurl.com/PuggySmalls