After a two-year battle to give George the German shepherd back his mobility, it seemed little more could be to help him.
But last week he took his first steps with a custom made orthopaedic supports on his front legs and his vet says it has probably saved his life.
Eight-year-old George’s owners Eunice and Tony Spinks, of Great Barton, say Orthopet USA, who custom-make the £1,600 supports, warned it will take him about six weeks to get used to them.
Eunice said on Wednesday: “When he first had them on it was like Bambi trying to ice skate, but now he’s walking about.”
Two years ago, George was taken to Moreton Hall Veterinary centre with a high temperature and diagnosed with polyarthritus in his front legs.
Their insurers paid for £7,500 of treatment, including high doses of steroids and an operation to put a plate in his right leg. The Spinks have spent about the same again since the insurance ran out.
Eunice said: “The only time he suffered was at the beginning when he was very poorly.
“Now, he’s a normal, loyal dog other than the fact his legs don’t work.”
When his left leg started to give out, it looked like the end, until a vet suggested looking at the high tech supports.
George’s vet Rob Davis said: “It’s potentially life saving for him because if the plate in his leg breaks, there’s nothing we can do for him. This should reduce the stress on that plate.
“It’s not something every dog would take to, but he has the right temperament. He takes everything in his stride.
“He’s on of my favourite patients.”