A TIMPERLEY dog owner is delighted that she has one of the first first pets in the UK to benefit from stem cell therapy.

Janet Purser’s 10-year-old cocker spaniel, Lottie, was suffering from chronic arthritis in all four legs that caused her to limp.

But now, after the treatment, she no longer limps and she and 'just wants to play', said Janet.

Janet asked her veterinary practice to refer her to John Innes at ChesterGates Referral Hospital in Chester as she was already aware of John’s pioneering work in the field of orthopaedics and believed that he would be aware of any new options that were available to Lottie. Janet didn't have to wait long for their appointment and it was then that John told Janet about stem cell therapy - and she agreed to the surgery.

Lottie first went into ChesterGates to have her stem cells harvested. This was a simple procedure where adipose tissue (fat cells) were removed from Lottie's flank. The adipose tissue was then sent to the lab at Veterinary Tissue Bank, where the stem cells were extracted, activated and then grown to make more stem cells. A few weeks later and Lottie's stem cells had multiplied enough to have them re-injected back into her joints.

John conducted the simple procedure of injecting cells into Lottie’s joints. Lottie had both her elbows and both her hips treated.

Janet said: “It was a straightforward procedure, Lottie only had to stay at ChesterGates for a couple of hours then she was able to return home.”

Janet had to keep Lottie quiet for 10 days in order to let the stem cells adhere to the joint.

“By the end of the second week Lottie was showing real improvement and by the end of the third week she had stopped limping altogether. It was like a miracle,” Janet said.

“I have been trying to keep her quiet and maintain a gentle exercise regime but it hasn’t been easy. Lottie is so giddy and just wants to play.

“Her limping is a thing of the past. I am overjoyed to have my fun dog back once more.

“She is even giving my other dog, Molly, who is just four years old, a run for her money. She beat her to the ball the other day.”