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new wheels Crippled dog gets second chance with own wheelchair and roller skates

Springer spaniel Bo fractured her spine after running headlong into a rock while out for a walk

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Bo and Kara

Bo and Kara

Bo and Kara

A miracle dog crippled after an accident is getting a new lease of life in this wheeled contraption made for her at Dublin’s Veterinary Hospital.

Springer spaniel Bo fractured her spine after running headlong into a rock while out for a walk.

The friendly pooch lost the use of its legs after the accident and after a slow recovery following emergency surgery she was about to be put down.

But vets at the UCD specialist centre realised she had got back feeling in all four legs.

They painstakingly set to work giving Bo extensive physiotherapy over several months and one member of staff even had this pulley-wheelchair built for her.

Now Bo can run around using her back legs, which are working again, to power her forward while her body weight is supported by straps.

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Bo

Bo

Bo

She even has tiny American-imported roller-skates attached to one of her front legs which have still to regain their power.

Bo is lovingly cared for by veterinary nurse Kara Airey who tells tonight’s Animal Emergency on Virgin Media that Bo is one happy dog.

“We have spent a lot of time together. We weren’t sure how it was going to go, whether she would get better,” says Kara.

“People worry about getting too attached to patients maybe if they are not going to make it but we decided that even if she was with us for a short time she would have a good time.

“We made sure to spend lots of time with her giving her lots of love.

“She is quite cheeky, she knows what she wants and knows how to get it. We call her Princess Bo because she is quite demanding.

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“Her owners were aware that she had little to no feelings in her legs. They decided to go ahead with surgery because she was only three at the time and she potentially had a full life ahead of her.

“It took her three months to regain that feeling in her legs which is a very long time. Six to eight weeks is usually the maximum time.

“The day we had decided that she was going to be euthanised she showed she had feeling in all of her legs so that was a big day for her. It was a real miracle.”

It took another two months before Bo started using her back legs and owners Penny and Niall were thrilled with her progress. They started taking Bo home to Waterford for some weekends.

“You would wonder what to do as the right thing,” said Penny.

“Two or three times we thought maybe we should put her down, that it would be the fairest thing for her.

“But saying it at home and coming up and going through the process is a different matter.

“The fact she is able to start taking a bit of her own weight and seeing her back legs moving and trying to walk again is just amazing.

“The dream would be to have her at home and walking again.”

Kara said that when Bo goes home she would remain an outpatient for some time and still needed 24 hour care.

“From an ethical standpoint Bo is really happy with how she is. She is very interactive with us and her owners, she is happy to eat and do her exercises.

“If she showed any signs that she was not happy any more then a decision would need to be made.

“But the way she is going, she is a very resilient dog. She has a very good quality of life.

“She’s with people 24 hours a day and she is very happy about that. She has a good life.”

Animal Emergency is on Virgin Media One tonight (Sunday) at 8pm.

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