Dog fitted with specialist buggy

Travis the German Shepherd has swopped walkies for wheelies.

The nine-year-old is zipping around the streets of Wigan again after being fitted with his very own specialist canine buggy.

Travis suffers from a degenerative spinal illness called CDRM which has progressively robbed him of the use of his back legs.

There is no treatment currently available to reverse the condition.

But extensive physiotherapy sessions at Wigan's Anrich Veterinary Hospital hydrotherapy pool have stabilised it, while helping him to regain his fitness.

And now his smart new set of wheels have given him back the mobility he has craved.

Owner Nicola Gray is delighted with his new lease of life, and his vet Dr Shams Mir pronounced: "It has completely transformed him."

Nicola, of Gidlow Lane, said she first noticed her dog becoming "wobbly" on his back legs 18 months ago and in recent weeks, despite the swimming sessions, Travis had become unable to walk.

She had faced the heartbreaking realisation that she may have had to say goodbye to her pal for good – but then she was told about the "wheelchair" and has been astonished about just how well he has taken to it.

Nicola, 30, said: "When Travis went off his legs I have never been so upset in all my life.

"Watching him stumbling about was horrendous and I was just crying all the time because I knew that this couldn't go on.

"You could see that he was so depressed, he has his head between his paws and he wasn't eating.

"Then I heard about the wheelchair and with Anrich's help it has been a real success.

"You only have to look at him to see how happy he is again.

"He loves going out and now it is a case of trying to keep up with him as he bombs along on his front legs.

"As far as I know he is the only dog on wheels in Wigan so people do stand and stare a bit."

Dr Mir said: "When most German Shepherds start dragging their hind legs they have to be put to sleep but in some cases this is an option.

"We have helped Travis regain his strength with sessions in the hydrotherapy pool and the owner has been very, very courageous.

"In fact neither of them would give in and both have shown great perseverance.

"To see the dog in his wheelchair is a fantastic sight, he is so happy in himself to be mobile and active again.

"He is clearly very comfortable in it and has taken to it straight away."