Brave Buster looks forward to Christmas in comfort

Animal stories,

Meet brave Buster – who spent the first six and a half years of his life serving in the police force! When he was retired four years ago, he was adopted by Sue Savory, who hoped to give him the happy retirement he deserved.

However, Buster’s health started deteriorating two years ago when he began suffering from slowly worsening neck and back pain as well as weakness of his back legs.

Buster takes a turn for the worse

Sadly Buster’s condition took a sudden downturn in May 2019 when he became extremely uncoordinated and couldn’t stand up without assistance – the very same day Buster was referred to the Animal Health Trust for an emergency assessment.

Buster was immediately seen by our specialist vets and an MRI scan uncovered a bulging disc in the very upper section of his back, which was severely compressing his spinal cord. Buster was hospitalised for a few days and began essential physiotherapy treatment from our in-house physiotherapist Matt Scott.

Buster with his owner Sue and AHT physiotherapist Matt Scott

On the road to recovery

Thanks to Matt’s expertise, Buster began to show signs of improvement and was able to go home. Although Buster was still very wobbly and required a lot of support from a sling – which was not easy on his owner Susan as he’s not little – he was ready to start the long road to recovery.

Buster continued to come back to the AHT regularly to see Matt for physiotherapy sessions and after a couple of months, started hydrotherapy at a centre closer to home. Six months on and Buster has built up enough strength and stability to get up and about without needing any assistance from his owner, getting stronger every day and ready to spend this Christmas pain-free!

Buster and I came to AHT hoping their team could help – and of course they did!

Sue, Buster's owner

“We were both frightened when we arrived, not at all sure where our journey might have ended,” explained Sue. “But every single member of staff we met was so knowledgeable, professional, helpful, friendly and empathetic. From the neurologists, through to the reception team, with the hydrotherapists and Matt in-between – they were all fabulous!

“We still have to work on Buster’s condition with physio and hydro to keep him as mobile as possible, but we’re confident we can do it. We truly wouldn’t be where we are today without the help from everyone at the Animal Health Trust!”

Thank you Sue for trusting us to give Buster the comfortable Christmas he deserves!