By Lucy Notarantonio and William Lailey
An adorable cockapoo who was left paralysed by a freak accident has become to UK’s first pooch to be back on all four paws thanks to ROLLER SKATES.
Former therapy dog, Zippy, jumped off the sofa and slipped a disc in his back four months ago – and within three hours his back legs were paralysed.
After undergoing a spinal operation and multiple therapies, Zippy, now seven, is back on his feet thanks to to his wheels and a pair custom-made roller skates which cost £94.
His doting owners Jean, 63 and Terry Stork, 74, from King’s Lynn, Norfolk, are proud to see their four-legged friend enjoying the great outdoors again.
Jean, a part time lecturer , said: “It’s amazing to watch Zippy on his roller skates and finally get some independence back.
“Zippy had always been a happy and placid dog who used to visit care homes, hospitals, nurseries and schools for children with complex needs.
“The last four months have been heart breaking to see him going through such a tough time.
“When he had the accident we immediately drove him to the emergency vets where an MRI confirmed he had slipped a disc.
“There was a 50/50 chance the spinal operation would work – but we were willing to take the risk to see him walk again.
“Sadly, it didn’t work, and he was still paralysed but we could see in his eyes that he was fighting.
“We discussed as a family that we couldn’t put him to sleep and decided to fight for him.
“Since the accident he’s undergone physio, laser, electromagnetic to promote the healing process and hydrotherapy to make sure secondary complications from immobility don’t occur as well as assisting in the strengthening and re-education of movement.
“Like any dog, Zippy loves going for walks and strolls through the woods – it was terribly sad seeing him indoors.
“I began researching and found Winston’s Wheels – an American charity that offered us a doggy wheelchair and it seemed like the perfect way to get Zippy back outside.
“Incredibly he has got stronger but the wheelchair meant his legs had to be up in stirrups when he was in the woods and I felt he would benefit from having his legs in a normal walking position.
“So we decided to look for other options which is when I came across the roller skates and they mean he can have his legs down on the ground.
“His right leg is now walking but his left leg needs to get stronger.”
Zippy is the first dog in the UK to use ‘Skate with Maximus’ roller-skates from America – which cost £94 for two.
They are an alternative option for stirrups and allow Zippy to re-learn how to walk again.
The back and forth gliding allow motion is great for exercising and the vibrations stimulate the nerves.
Mum-of-one Jean adds: “Every day Zippy is getting stronger – we feared we may lose him.
“The day prior to his accident, we had to let our other dog Cosmo, 14, go as he had a tumour and we could see he had enough.
“The difference with Zippy is he is young and determined and wants to get back on his feet.
“I hope to see him wag his tail again and walk unaided in the back garden.
“The whole experience has been traumatic but we refuse to give up on him.”