A much-loved dog that helps a deaf woman communicate with her family is in need of a costly life-saving operation.

Joanne McNeil's dog, Angel, has torn her ligaments in her leg after falling over in the back garden.

At first, Joanne, from Clydebank, and her daughter Loretta, 23, assumed that she had pulled a muscle, however, hours after the incident one of her back legs collapsed.

Clydebank Post:

After being rushed to the vet it was confirmed that she had torn a ligament in her back leg.

Now, the loveable pet is in need of a special type of surgery called Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO) in order to walk again, which is estimated to cost in the region of £6000.

Clydebank Post:

Joanne says that Angel is her "lifeline" and that it is "heartbreaking" to see her in pain.

She said: "There have been many sleepless nights, put it that way.

"Obviously she is in a lot of pain and she is on strong painkillers at the moment.

"She helps assist my daughter in everyday tasks that a hearing person takes for granted such as letting her know when an alarm goes off and when something is burning.

"Angel sleeps with Loretta and is also an emotional support animal for her and myself.

"She knows when my daughter is anxious or having a bad day and if my daughter needs me Angel will come and let me know.

"She is so much more than a dog she is a large part of the family."

Clydebank Post:

Clydebank Post:

Angel, nine, is described as "more than a family pet" for the pair with the black Labrador being a close companion to Loretta, who is deaf and autistic.

The two have struck up a close relationship and Angel helps her communicate with her mum, family and friends when needed and also alerts Loretta to noises within the house such as an alarm going off or the door being knocked.

Doctors have warned that Angel's other back leg is at risk of collapsing according to Joanne as it tries to compensate for the weight of her body.

Clydebank Post:

The mum of two has to take the black lab outside to do the toilet in a harness-type vest to try and take the weight off her limbs. 

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family pay for the bill as Joanne says the pet has been their own guardian Angel.

She said: "She has made such a difference since coming into all our lives when she was seven weeks old.

"The surgery needs to be done sooner rather than later and it is an enormous bill.

"But we will do what we can as she has helped us so much since coming into our life.

"We don't know what we would do without her as she helped me and Loretta have some freedom.

"She is our own wee angel."

To donate to the GoFunMe click HERE