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Tiny proves that no challenge is too big


An eight-year old West Highland Terrier called Tiny has stunned her owners and staff at The Prince Bishop Veterinary Hospital near Consett in County Durham by re-gaining the use of her legs after suffering virtual immobility.

The plucky terrier has attended twice-weekly ‘running’ sessions on an underwater treadmill - the only vet-run facility of its kind in the North East - at the Leadgate veterinary hospital’s specialist rehabilitation centre. Since starting the sessions six weeks ago when she was barely able to walk and had to be carried, Tiny is now walking into the practice unaided and with a spring in her step.

Determined Tiny has not only been plagued by debilitating arthritis but has also had two cruciate ligament ruptures. This extremely painful condition is normally only seen in one leg and requires surgery to correct the tear, which if left untreated will go on to cause permanent disability and further severe pain, often resulting in the animal having to be put down.

So far the brave terrier has had surgery on one hind leg and is due to undergo another operation to correct her other back leg, but sessions on the underwater or aquatic treadmill have seen the biggest improvement in her condition.

Tiny’s owner David Beadle of Consett said: “I am delighted with how she’s doing and amazed at how far she’s come from when she first came to use the treadmill. As well as the cruciate problems, she’s had severe arthritis which cannot be improved by an operation so the treadmill has done wonders for her.”

Veterinary Nurse Claire Beckham, who has attended specialist training courses in animal rehabilitation at the University of Tennessee, said: “We are all amazed at how well Tiny has done in such a short time and things can only get better now for her. She almost races into the rehab centre and clearly enjoys her time here.”

As well as arthritis and cruciate ruptures, owners bring their pets for treatment for a wide range of conditions ranging from spinal injuries to obesity and a vet or veterinary assistant is always on hand to either support the dog as he or she walks or runs on the treadmill or to supervise.
Other facilities The Prince Bishop Veterinary Hospital uses to rehabilitate pets include a hydrotherapy pool and a Jacuzzi for dogs to soothe aching limbs.

For further information, contact The Prince Bishop Veterinary Hospital, 1 Plantation Street, Leadgate, Consett, DH8 7PP or call 01207 590 340.