How Science is Helping Paralyzed Dogs Walk Again

Jill Harness

Researchers recently discovered a technique to help some paralyzed dogs walk again. The procedure, which was performed on 23 dogs, involved removing cells from a dog's nasal cavity, letting the cells grow for a few weeks in a laboratory, and then injecting the cells into the dog's spine.

Many of the dogs showed considerable improvement after the treatment and were even able to walk again with a little additional support from a harness. Some of the pooches were even able to regain control of their bladders and bowels again.

Researchers are optimistic that a similar procedure may one day help human patients recover from spinal paralysis. In the meantime, the dogs that showed improvement are certainly happier with their improved mobility even if they still aren't completely healed. As one patient's owner said, "Before the treatment we used to have to wheel Jasper round on a trolley because his back legs were useless. Now he whizzes around the house and garden and is able to keep up with the other dogs. It's wonderful."