A cocker spaniel puppy has been able to go walkies for the first time after becoming the youngest dog in the UK to undergo a full hip replacement.
Adorable 10-month-old Stanley has been dubbed the “bionic dog” since having a metal hip joint implanted to combat a rare condition which had left him unable to stand or walk.
The stricken pup’s worried owners took Stanley to a vet when putting weight on his back legs had became so painful – he would have to drag himself along the floor using his front legs.
An X-ray revealed little Stanley was suffering from Legg-Calve-Perthes disease – a rare degenerative disorder.
Vets feared that unless he underwent the £6,000 procedure, he would have to be put down because he was in too much agony.
But now since undergoing the operation at just five-and-a-half months old, the cute cocker spaniel is now enjoying a new lease of life and is able to go for a walk and run properly for the first time in his life.
Stephanie Tickale, of Maypole Veterinary Clinic, Birmingham, said the risky procedure is normally only performed on fully-grown dogs.
She said: “He was really miserable, he would whimper a lot, he became very very thin and weak on his back legs because he just wasn’t using them.
“He would walk or rather drag himself round sometimes, lying with his back legs on the floor and just dragging himself on his front legs which was really sad to see.
“It’s not routinely done in dogs under the age of 10 to 12 months old because you normally have to wait for them to finish growing but because Stanley was in so much pain we decided to take the risk and put him through the surgery even though he was a very small pet at the time.”
Since the op Stanley has made a full recovery and can often be seen bounding around the kennels where he is currently staying.
Ray Dedicoat, owner of Hollytrees Animal Rescue Trust in Hollywood, Birmingham, said that due to a change in family circumstances Stanley is now looking for a new home.
He said: “Stanley needs space to roam. He is such a livewire now. Whenever he meets you he has just got to climb up you.
“All he wants to do is sit on your shoulders.
“If you’re sat watching TV he’s not happy on the floor or the sofa – he wants to be on your shoulders.
“He spends more time on two legs than on four.
“He’s one of the maddest dogs we’ve ever had but there’s no malice in him.
“Mind you, he’s nice and warm, like a living shawl.
“He’s got a lot of energy and loves to be on the move, like he’s making up for lost time.
“You wouldn’t know there was anything wrong with him at all, he’s like a bottle of pop.
“Considering what he’s gone through it takes some believing. We call him the bionic dog.”
* Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is thought to be caused by poor blood supply to the ball of the thighbone in the hip.
It mainly affects smaller breeds of dogs and symptoms most commonly develop at around 7 months old.
Though it can be treated without surgery, in most cases an operation to correct the condition is necessary.