Dogs paralysed by spine damage are able to walk again following pioneering stem cell treatment

One owner described her previously paralysed pet ‘whizzing around the house’ following the treatment Earlier tests proved the treatment on rats, but the new study is the first to prove it can be effective more than 12 months after an injury

By Nick Mcdermott

PUBLISHED: 20:35 EST, 18 November 2012 | UPDATED: 19:46 EST, 19 November 2012

As he strolls across the lawn, it is hard to believe Jasper the dachshund was unable to use his hind legs just two years ago.

Paralysed in an accident, he needed years of physiotherapy and a special trolley to get around.

But scientists conducting a study at Cambridge University have helped him walk again with a pioneering treatment that offers hope for human patients with spinal injuries.

Back on his feet: Jasper, the ten-year-old dachshund as he is now. Just two years ago, he could not use his hind legs

Breakthrough: Pet dogs left paralysed by spine damage have been able to walk again after pioneering cell treatment. This image shows Jasper the dog at the start of a trial with his rear legs limp and unusable

Better: After six months of treatment, Jasper’s legs are seen walking almost normally. The treatment involves injecting cells from the dogs’ nose into the injured part of their back

Injecting cells from the dogs nose into the injured part of his spine helped repair the damage. After the treatment, Jasper was able to move his previously paralysed hind legs and co-ordinate movement with his front limbs. The ten-year-old dog is now whizzing around unassisted and can also swim.

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Dogs paralysed by spine damage are able to walk again following pioneering stem cell treatment