Lurcher 'left paralysed by hare coursers' walks after specialist surgery

Flo the lurcher The RSPCA says it was "sadly common" for dogs to be paralysed by owners hitting or kicking them
X-ray of lurcher's spine Surgeons carried out two operations on Flo's spine after she was brought in
Flo the lurcher after surgery They removed blood clots and bone fragments that were compressing her spine
Flo the lurcher with physiotherapist Physiotherapists and specialist nurses helped Flo take her first steps
Flo the lurcher leaving vet's surgery RSPCA fosterer Clara will look after Flo until she is well enough to join the new family who have adopted her

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A dog thought to have been left paralysed and abandoned by hare coursers, has walked out of a vet's surgery for a new home.

Flo, a lurcher, was found in North Hykeham, Lincolnshire on 24 November, following reports of hare coursing.

After weeks of specialist care by a Cambridge vet she has been able to take her first steps, the RSPCA said.

A spokesman said its investigation into whether hare coursers had caused Flo's injuries had "reached a dead end".

It is thought the dog may have been kicked by hare coursers to disable her and hide their tracks.

'Dog massages'

The incident coincided with reports of three men acting suspiciously in the area and one throwing a bag into the river.

"Whether they caused her injuries, or she was injured in some other way, the fact is Flo was abandoned," Charlotte Childs of RSPCA Lincoln, said.

The bitch, thought to be about 18 months old, was transferred to Dick White Referrals Veterinary Centre in Six Mile Bottom, where she underwent two operations.

Viktor Palus, a neurology specialist who carried out her surgery, said he had to "remove several blood clots and fracture fragments which were compressing her spinal cord".

Further surgery to re-align the dog's spine was also performed.

"Flo has responded extremely well to surgery," Mr Palus said.

"She was walking independently a few days after her operation... we are really pleased with her response and her prognosis is very good."

Ms Childs added: "Following a period of intensive care Flo has been able to take about six or seven steps, so we are hopeful.

"Luckily she loves dog massages, which is good as she has another three months of physiotherapy to go through."

Flo is expected to recover in the care of one of the RSPCA's volunteer fosterers until she is well enough to go to her new home in Lincolnshire.

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