Puppy who was at risk of never walking again after accident can now run about and wag his tail
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A adorable puppy has learned how to walk and wag his tail after he was left paralysed in a freak accident.
Sussex spaniel Elton severely bruised his spinal cord when he bounded off a 50cm wall and landed on his back. The 11-week-old pup was rushed to the vets who told his distraught owner Philippa Gascoyne he may never walk again.
Elton was referred to Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in Solihull in the West Midlands to undergo intensive physiotherapy.
He underwent daily physio sessions as well as laser therapy to stimulate the muscles in his back and tail. Incredibly, after two weeks Elton was back on his paws and even starred in the Channel 5 show ‘The Dog Hospital’.
Elton has since made a full recovery and is back home with relieved owner Philippa in Ashbourne, Derbyshire.
Veterinary physiotherapist Holly Finelli said: “Elton was completely paraplegic when he came to us. He had no movement of his back legs or tail and we were not sure whether he would regain movement again. An MRI scan showed severe swelling of the spinal cord and he was immediately admitted for an intensive course of treatment, involving physiotherapy two to three times a day and laser therapy once a day.
“The fact he was a such a young puppy added to the challenge as he was very playful and couldn’t concentrate on a particular activity for long. We soon found food was the way to his heart! This enabled a slightly longer concentration time to perform the physiotherapy.
“Happily, Elton’s movement started to return so we progressed the physiotherapy exercises to challenge him further and, despite all our reservations, he began to take steps without assistance. That’s when we were able to challenge his walking ability with even more difficult physiotherapy exercises and Elton improved to regain full mobility. He was allowed home after two weeks and, at six months old, he was completely discharged from the physiotherapy service at Willows and is now living the normal life of a puppy.”
His owner Philippa recalled the moment her beloved pup suffered the horrific injury when he jumped off a low wall in front of her. She said: “It was awful, especially as I was only two metres from him when it happened. Elton just jumped off a small wall that borders the garden path and you can’t understand how such a small fall can cause such horrific injuries. It destroyed me inside to know I had not been able to prevent it happening.
“He was squealing on the floor. I tried to get him to stand up but there was nothing in his back legs, no movement at all and not even a wag of his tail. His spinal cord was swollen and the vets said they hoped that, as the swelling reduced, he would regain some movement – but said they could make no promises. That’s why I find his recovery so amazing. There were no guarantees but his progress and improvement have been fantastic and Elton’s a real success story. To have him back on his legs means more than you can imagine. I’m so happy and I can’t thank Holly and Willows enough.”