Little puppy Ralph has taken his first steps at home since he was rushed to the vets with sudden paralysis.
The toy poodle is making ‘amazing progress’ from emergency treatment at a specialist veterinary hospital in Birmingham.
At one point, owners Zoe Ward and Russell Fear from Cheltenham feared he may not make it.
But thankfully their tiny dog has fought back from a condition called altanto-axial subluxation.
This is a misalignment of the first and second cervical vertebrae, which may occur only with neck flexion.
An operation to try and fix the problem can’t be done until Ralph is at least five months old.
He had to be sedated at the vets and a neck brace was fitted, equipment the small pedigree dog has successfully adapted to.
“Ralph’s recovery has been amazing,” said Zoe.
“When the vet called and told us that Ralph had managed to stand on all fours and he was able to come home, we couldn’t believe it. I just burst into tears.
“We went to pick him up from the vets and at first he was very quiet, he looked sad.
” I held my hand out to him and he started to lick it and then did a wobbly little run, he looked like Bambi!
“Then I got to hold him and he started giving me kisses and he cuddled me the whole way home.”
Ralph had only lived at his new home in Cheltenham for a matter of days when he suddenly became seriously ill earlier this month.
The vet has shown the couple how to walk him on the lead.
They have also been told around four out of five dogs make it through the operation he needs.
In the meantime he will have the neck brace checked and changed regularly.
“He is still in a very vulnerable position until he is old enough for his operation in a few months,” said Zoe, 30.
“We have to be careful with him at all times.
“We hold him up on the lead the whole time to make sure he doesn’t damage his neck even more.”
Zoe and Russell said they are extremely grateful to everyone who donated to a fundraising page to help Ralph get back on his feet.
It reached its £2,000 target in several days.
“We are really overwhelmed by the support and generosity of our friends, family, his breeder and the public,” they added.
“People are so kind, from the sweetest of emails to offering services, every message, share and donation has helped support us get Ralph through this and to where he is now.
“We can’t say thank you enough.”
This content was originally published here.