Teddy, a ten-year-old standard Dachshund, owned by Peter Purves, Crufts commentator and former Blue Peter presenter, and his wife, was referred to the AHT’s Small Animal Clinic after Peter noticed a change in Teddy’s character.

Teddy comes from a line of Dachshunds bred by the Purves’s and is a very handsome and sweet natured dog. So when he started to slow down and didn’t seem himself, the Purves’s booked an appointment with the vet. After a thorough assessment, Teddy was referred to the AHT for a neurological assessment, as it was suspected Teddy had suffered a slipped disc. Without prompt and expert treatment, Teddy would lose the ability to walk.

Teddy at the AHT, unable to walk.

When Teddy was admitted to the AHT he could not walk on his back legs at all. A full neurological examination and MRI scans were performed, confirming Teddy had a slipped disc and identified compression of the spinal cord. Surgery was the only option to correct the damage and give Teddy the best chance of a full recovery.

The AHT’s Dr Fabio Stabile was the neurologist who assessed Teddy and performed the lifesaving operation. Fabio is a Royal College Recognised Specialist (RCVS) and European Specialist in Veterinary Neurology and has worked at the AHT for nine years.

Here's Teddy up and walking soon after the lifesaving operation

One month later, after strict cage rest and limited exercise, Teddy has been back to the AHT for a check-up and has been given the all clear by neurologist Fabio.

Peter Purves said: “I have complete confidence in the AHT. They have treated several of my dogs as Dachshunds, having long backs, are prone to this problem. In fact, Fabio operated on Teddy’s dad, Woody, several years ago. The AHT is a wonderful place, you know the people who work here really care about their patients and the work they do, through research, has profound benefits to the veterinary profession and animal health.

“I’m very grateful to live so close to such a wonderful organisation and that Teddy has made a full and fantastic recovery. He is an old dog, but a strong dog, and everyone here has done a superb job getting him through this major operation so that he can walk and enjoy life again.”

Mr Purves, Teddy and Dr Fabio Stabile after Teddy's check up

An important part of Teddy’s diagnosis was the MRI scan to be able to see the damage to the spinal cord. The AHT pioneered the use of MRI scans in veterinary medicine in the 1990s, and showed the veterinary profession how this diagnostic tool could be taken from human medicine and used to help animals, too. Last year the AHT ran a major fundraising campaign to upgrade their MRI machine, raising over £400,000 for a brand new MRI scanner which is now completed.

Kevin Clements, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at the AHT, said: “We’re really pleased that there has been such a positive outcome for Teddy. The use of MRI was key in his diagnosis so the work we have done over the last 75 years in pioneering this technology has been vital. But, we’re not stopping there! There are so many more animals that need our help – thousands we see in the clinics and millions who benefit from our world-class research.

“We can only continue to help dogs, like Teddy, with donations from people who care about animals, so if you would like to help us fight cancer, epilepsy, blindness and other debilitating conditions affecting dogs, please donate online at www.aht.org.uk/donate ”