The owner of a beloved bulldog who had to use ramps and steps to get around due to his failing legs has heaped praise on our team for giving her precious pet a new lease of life.

Unhappy Zaba could barely walk before he underwent a life-changing operation here at Kentdale but the five-year-old is now ‘bouncing around’ again according to his grateful owner Melissa Courtney from Preston.

Poor Zaba’s lameness started in one hind leg but then his other back leg also started deteriorating and it got to the point where both of his legs simply stopped working, forcing him to collapse on numerous occasions.

Melissa said: “Zaba had been in pain for quite a while and was at a point where he could barely walk, we had to use ramps and steps everywhere. He was very unhappy and used to sit at the backdoor staring outside for hours, refusing to do anything. It was so upsetting.”

A diagnosis confirmed cranial cruciate ligament rupture affecting both of his knees, that needed a bilateral tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO) operation to repair the damage.

Toby Gemmill, Managing Director at Kentdale and an RCVS and European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery (Orthopaedics), explained Zaba’s care.

He said: “Zaba’s lameness had worsened so much he was struggling to walk. The operation involved changing the angle of the top of the shin bone. This was achieved by cutting the bone, before rotating it and then fixing it in a new position with a plate and screws. This changes the way weight is transferred through the knee joint, removing the need for an intact cranial cruciate ligament and hence allowing recovery.

“It’s great to know Zaba’s been given a new lease of life and that his owner is so happy with the outcome.”

Zaba’s owner Melissa added: “It’s like having a brand-new dog – he’s like a puppy again. He loves going for walks and we are even able to throw balls and get him running full speed for them. Recently in a park, a lady came over and told me I had the happiest dog she had ever seen. He literally skips on the path to the park and it’s thanks to everyone at Kentdale.”