SOME lucky canines helped back on their feet by a Breadstone prosthetics company are featuring on a hit TV programme.
Some patients treated at OrthoPets Europe are making their small-screen debut on the Alan Titchmarsh Show this afternoon on ITV at 3pm.
OrthoPets makes custom braces and prosthetics for animals, harnessing human technology and adapting it for use on dogs and cats.
One such patient is Winston, a nine-year-old West Highland White Terrier who lives in Cambridgeshire.
He became paralysed in his hind legs after developing lesions on his spine, which is sadly not an uncommon condition.
Surgery, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy only had limited success but the launch of a French-made rehabilitation cart called Kerdog has turned his life around.
OrthoPets helped fit the little Westie with his personal set of wheels and he is now able to move about for short periods of time on two legs and two wheels.
“His owners are over the moon,” said Alison Hunt, who runs the European wing of OrthoPets with her husband Rod in Breadstone, near Berkeley. “I don’t think his owners thought they would see him on his feet again.”
And three-legged rescue dog Shadow May has been given a new prosthetic paw after his fore leg was almost torn off in a trap.
The 14-month-old German Shepherd had a tough start to life, abandoned by his owners in Spain and left with a mutilated foot.
Vets at a rescue centre were forced to amputate Shadow’s fore leg, but fortunately left enough on for him to benefit from revolutionary prosthetic technology under the care of his new owner, Sara May, from Hampshire.
After moulds were taken in the UK and the family liased with the Hunts in Breadstone, Shadow’s new limb was made at OrthoPets’ base in Denver, Colarado and he is now busy learning how to live on four legs again.
Mrs Hunt said: “Prosthetic limbs for dogs are quite a rarity. We offer stump and socket limbs so we need to teach vets to leave enough of the leg on (when amputating).
“It’s all human technology, the same that is used on soldiers, that is modified to suit quadrupeds and it is a very feasible option.”
A project – including a prototype limb and the final product – costs from £1,500.
For more information, visit www.orthopets.co.uk or call 01453 811930.