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Springer Spaniel Makes Remarkable Recovery After Paralysis

Rusty, the dog, battled hard and defied all odds.

SOLIHULL, England — A springer spaniel left paralyzed from head to tail by tetanus made a miracle recovery after learning to go walk again.

Two-year-old Rusty struggled to walk and shook uncontrollably after the infection took hold.

The adorable pooch had contracted life-threatening tetanus, which caused him to suffer muscle spasms, stiff limbs, and hyperthermia.

His worried owners took him to Linnaeus-owned Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in Solihull, England, for treatment in March.

Two-year-old English Springer Spaniel Rusty, suffered from tetanus. (Willows Veterinary Centre via SWNS)

He spent three weeks in intensive care while staff gave him round-the-clock care and support.

Despite his condition, Rusty made a full recovery after medical staff taught him to walk again during daily physiotherapy sessions.

Heartwarming footage showed him bounding around the animal hospital before returning home.

Vicky Maund, head of nursing services at Willows, said, “Rusty was referred to our neurology team suffering from tetanus, which is a life-threatening neurological condition caused by a bacterial infection, which can cause muscle spasms, hyperthermia, and limb rigidity.

Two-year-old English Springer Spaniel Rusty, who suffered from tetanus. Pictured during treatment. (Willows Veterinary Centre via SWNS)

“He was very stiff, unstable and immobile when he arrived and was hospitalized for a total of 19 days in our dedicated Intensive Care Unit, where he was treated by our specialist-led Emergency and Critical Care team.

“Throughout this time, he was intensively nursed 24 hours a day by a devoted team of nurses and patient care assistants.

“So much teamwork and effort went into keeping Rusty comfortable during his hospitalization.

“He needed to be fed through a tube, given fluids intravenously, and his vital signs were constantly monitored.

Rusty in recovery with his care team. (Willows Veterinary Centre via SWNS)

“There were also regular blood tests, wound management, frequent care, and cleansing of his eyes, mouth, and ears, plus he had a urinary catheter fitted.”

“As Rusty was unable to walk, he also received physiotherapy care from our expert team to help restore his mobility and stability.”

Rusty underwent intense physiotherapy with staff working hard to encourage him to move his legs.

Vicky added, “It was pretty much constant care and monitoring around the clock for the whole 19 days but Rusty battled hard and defied all the odds.”

“He gradually regained the movement in his legs, started to walk again and was able to get home to his family after almost three weeks in hospital.”

Springer Spaniel dog Rusty pictured walking on his own during treatment. (Willows Veterinary Centre via SWNS)


“It was a lovely moment and everyone was so pleased.”

“We put a video together of his journey with us and watching it now is a reminder of just how poorly Rusty was [doing] and how determined the team were to help pull him through.”

“His recovery is a real tribute to our incredible nurses and patient care assistants.”

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

Edited by Kyana Jeanin Rubinfeld and Jessi Rexroad Shull

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