Pioneering treatment has been used to help a paralysed dog walk again.
A dachshund named Jasper was unable to use his hind legs two years ago, but a study carried out by scientists at Cambridge University has helped him back on his feet.
Researchers injected cells from the animal’s nose into the injured part of its spine that prevented it from walking, which served to repair the damage and allow the pooch to move the previously paralysed limbs.
By co-ordinating movement with his front legs, Jasper is now able to run around without assistance, as well as being comfortable taking to water for a swim.
Professor Robin Franklin of the Wellcome Trust-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute said: “Our findings are extremely exciting because they show for the first time that transplanting these types of cell into a severely damaged spinal cord can bring about significant improvement.”
It is hoped that the findings could have positive implications for humans suffering from spinal cord injuries, with it possible the technique might lead to at least a small amount of movement being restored.