Skydiving dog falls 60ft from a clifftop and lives to bark again
Last Updated: 24/11/2023
A plucky dog suffered serious internal injuries after plunging 60 foot off a cliff while chasing goats.
Owner Rosie Price, from Bristol, was sure six-year-old George must have died after witnessing the horror fall.
She was astonished to find the lucky lurcher bloodied but alive at the foot of the cliffs, but he then faced a five-day fight for survival at Zetland Vets.
And the vets say George was incredibly fortunate to have somehow survived the fall without a single broken bone and then pull through a life and death battle due to his extensive internal injuries.
Rosie had taken George, who she rescued when he was one, for a walk with a friend and her dogs at Goblin Combe.“I’d been there a few years back, but I didn’t realise it’s now being rewilded with goats and I didn’t see any signs about that,” said Rosie, an NHS mental health crisis worker.
"We were in the woods when George suddenly ran off. He’s very gentle and has never harmed anything, but I found him at the edge of the cliff frantically barking at some goats that were out of reach.
“Before I could try to get him back, he just slipped off the edge and vanished from sight.
“It looked like a sheer drop, and I thought there was no way he could have survived and he must have died.”
A local who witnessed the fall guided Rosie and her friend to the foot of the cliffs and helped them hunt for George. To their amazement, he appeared 30 minutes later from the woodland, dazed, bloodied and alive.
“I couldn’t believe it when he walked out,” said Rosie. “I think he must have been saved by landing in bushes, but he collapsed soon after and I knew we needed help.
“He was covered in blood, and I carried him back to the car. He had obviously gone into shock and was still breathing but not moving at all.”
Rosie rushed him to Zetland Vets in Bristol, part of the My Family Vets network, and George was X-rayed and treated for his wounds. After further scans and treatment, he was allowed home, but he had to be taken back after a couple of days when he became seriously unwell.
“Initially we dealt with his wounds and although he had bruising on most of his body, nothing else showed up on our scans,” said vet Kathleen Pohl.
“But when he came back in, our blood tests showed he had serious injuries to his liver and his pancreas.
“We gave him strong pain relief and put him fluids and a feeding tube as pancreatitis is really painful and he didn’t want to eat.
“His life was definitely in danger, but happily he did start to get better. And he was so lucky just getting here in the first place. The fact that he didn’t break a single bone in the fall is astonishing.”
Knowing it had been touch and go, Rosie was delighted to be able to collect George who, amazingly, was walking normally again within a week.
“We can’t thank the whole team enough for all they did,” added Rosie.
“George is back to being the same old dog but he’s not getting off the lead anywhere there might be anything he could chase. And I’ll definitely be taking no risks if I go anywhere unfamiliar.”
Zetland Vets is part of My Family Vets, a nationwide network of veterinary practices and referral hospitals.
Owners who join its Pet Health Club plan receive discounts on selected veterinary care and medications — and are also covered for regular, routine treatments such as vaccinations, health checks and flea, worm and parasite treatments.