BELOVED pet Billy is now back on his feet after a freak fall off his owner's bed almost left him paralysed.

Owner Debbie Antrobus, from Northwich, was woken by a bang one morning in June last year and found her six-year-old dog on the floor.

The chocolate Labradoodle was twitching, unable to move his legs or head, and struggling to breathe.

After rushing him to the Willows Veterinary Hospital in Hartford, Debbie was told Billy had suffered serious spinal cord injuries, which had caused him to lose the ability to use his legs.

But now, following months of care from specialist vets, Billy is on the mend and can now walk and even run again.

Debbie, who adopted Billy when he was 10 months old, said it had been a long journey since his fall.

She said: “Billy must have been dreaming and just crashed off the bed.

"He landed on the floor with the loudest bang. He was then in the vets for five weeks and unable to walk for seven weeks."

Northwich Guardian: Orthopaedic and spinal surgery specialist Charlie with Labradoodle BillyOrthopaedic and spinal surgery specialist Charlie with Labradoodle Billy (Image: Oakwood Veterinary Referrals)

Soon after Billy arrived at the Willows Hospital, the team called on their colleagues at Oakwood Veterinary Referrals, who share the facilities and are highly skilled in areas such as neurology and orthopaedics.

Orthopaedic and spinal surgery specialist Charlie Sale assessed Billy and x-rayed his neck to ensure it wasn’t fractured.

He was then closely monitored but, although his breathing settled within 36 hours, his condition remained unchanged.

An MRI scan revealed severe injuries to his spinal cord and a ruptured disc which was adding further pressure to his spine.

Debbie agreed to spinal surgery to give Billy every possible chance of survival and recovery, which meant Charlie was able to remove the ruptured disc material and ease the compression on his spinal cord during a complex operation.

Billy received round-the-clock nursing care for the next four-and-a-half weeks before being discharged for more rest at home, supported by further physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.

Northwich Guardian: Charlie Sale, right, and members of the veterinary team who cared for Billy, centreCharlie Sale, right, and members of the veterinary team who cared for Billy, centre (Image: Oakwood Veterinary Referrals)

Debbie added: "The treatment has been amazing. Charlie initially said ‘Let’s be realistic and give him three weeks to see if there is an improvement’.

"Then it was a case of giving him more time as signs of recovery appeared. I went from thinking I had lost him to bringing him home.

"It is amazing progress. He has got stronger and can do a little bit of a plod now.

"I owe so much to everyone at Willows and Oakwood Vets - Charlie, his team of nurses, reception and office staff who cared so much for Billy and looked after me when I visited him every day.

"My family and friends helped me over the first month of having him home and the team at Cheshire Canine Hydrotherapy Centre and Stay Sound Veterinary Physiotherapy Services have helped me carry on with his ongoing recovery."

Charlie, who has more than 25 years of experience in orthopaedic and spinal referrals, said: “We don’t see many patients with such severe injuries as Billy’s.

"Our prognosis was that there was a chance he could recover to be able to walk but that it could be a slow process.

"After his surgery, he required very intense nursing as he had to be moved every few hours and we were doing different physiotherapy from the start.

"He slowly improved and has been able to recover through a combination of our veterinary care, his own ability and a massive effort from his owner.

"Billy has now regained a good quality of life. His recovery means a lot to the whole team and is rewarding for everyone involved in caring for him."