A TINY paralysed Chihuahua can now walk after he was given a 3D-printed bionic implant.
Owner Zoe Cekalla took four-month-old Ping to the vet after noticing he struggled walking on all four legs.
The Chihuahua was immediately referred to specialists and diagnosed with a severe malformation in his neck.
CT and MRI scans showed Ping’s bones were not formed properly, leading to instability and pressure on the spinal cord.
He was hospitalised and put in a neck brace while he waited for surgery six days later.
Experts at pet hospital Hamilton Specialist Referrals used custom-designed 3D-printed guides to position 1mm screws to stabilise his neck.
Veterinary neurologist John Parker said: ‘When Ping was first brought in to us, he was depressed and couldn’t walk.
‘The weakness had progressed rapidly and was affecting all his limbs.
‘He also had a head tilt and his eye reflexes were reduced. We knew from these signs that the problem was localised to his brain or cervical spinal cord.’
Zoe, of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, said: ‘He’s such a tiny little puppy and I was devastated when he became so weak.
‘When I heard he needed spinal surgery I couldn’t believe a tiny dog would cope with such a major procedure.
‘Hamilton’s were fantastic and I can’t thank John, Michael and the whole team enough for all their expertise and care.
‘It truly is amazing that my bionic puppy is back to his normal self so quickly’.