Man spends £500 a month on massages for his three-legged German Shepherd

A dog owner who spends £500 a month on massages and chiropractors for his three-legged pooch says it’s worth every penny.

Alan Pritchard, 66, from Pembroke Dock in south Wales, rescued his best pal Kane through German Shepherd Rescue Elite five years ago.

But now Alan spends half-a-grand each month to give Kane a fighting chance against Fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE).

The condition causes matter from the spinal disc to migrate into the circulatory system, blocking vessels in the spine.

Experts are unsure of the cause of the condition, but symptoms can develop after minor injuries or trauma.

Alan was advised to put Kane to sleep two years ago when he was nine after his legs gave out due to old age.

But the 66-year-old wasn’t ready to give up on Kane and sought out canine back treatments.

He told TeamDogs : “I found an FCE group on Facebook where people were recommending hydrotherapy and acupuncture, so we got in touch with a local vet who offered these services and we have been with them ever since.

“We only see one vet now because Kane was people reactive when we got him. He was tied up on a farm and wearing a prong collar. The farmer had died and his wife had gone into a hospice, so Kane was taken in to rescue.

“Oak Vets started him off with acupuncture and hydrotherapy on a treadmill but then he broke his dewclaw. He had two hydrotherapy sessions and it became ulcerated.

“We treated it for 11 months and it would just not heal and during that time he couldn’t continue with his hydrotherapy. He had also started having canine massages. Abi worked very hard with him and we did physio at home with him.

“Oak Vets thought he had FCE because he had no feeling in his feet, so we had him referred to Langford Vets in Bristol where he was diagnosed and had to stay for a week.”

Kane’s ulcer was still not healed after 11 months, so vets recommended his leg be amputated last September.

“Straight after the amputation, he was trying to run around. He gets around quite well on three legs. He only goes out on his wheels occasionally because after five or ten minutes he starts to drag his back leg.

“I have to keep him on his lead when he is on his wheels in case he tips them up.

“We were also advised to take him to see a doggy chiropractor as the masseuse was finding it hard to work deep on him.

“So we got in touch with one and the results when she visits him are amazing. When she has realigned his vertebrae he’s like a young dog again. We don’t notice the gradual decline so we book him in every 10 weeks.”

Kane’s weekly treatment schedule includes a canine massage every two weeks, with hydrotherapy pool and physio sessions with Running Free.

Over the past two years Alan says he and wife Judith have spent a small fortune on the pooch.

Alan says £400-£500 of his state pension goes towards his best pal’s treatment.

“My state pension goes on him. We bought him the best wheels we could find. We don’t keep tabs on what we have spent on him but it’s probably five figures, but in 23 months we have spent a fortune.

“He’s such a happy boy, he is just an incredible dog and is very strong-willed.

“Our special thanks go to Caroline Gardner at Oak Vets Haverfordwest, Abi Fernandez at A.F Therapy, Simon and Lisa Mazengarb of Running Free Animal Physiotherapy and last but not least Sarah Wilkinson McTimoney Animal Chiropractor.”