Ira’s Bionic Story

One year old Labrador Ira was brought in by his owner Joye after she  noticed that Ira was dragging his feet when out on one of their walks. Ira had been her constant companion ever since Joye was widowed two years ago, and naturally would do anything for her beloved friend.

Ira and Joye appeared in Series Two of The Supervet

Ira and Joye appeared in Series Two of The Supervet

The Diagnosis

When Ira came to the clinic  it was apparent that Ira had what we describe as ataxia, a sign that something is wrong with the electrical signals travelling up and down the spinal cord. When Noel examined Ira it was clear that he had significant neck pain and an MRI was arranged to find out what was going on with Ira’s neck. Noel actually discovered that Ira had a genetic spinal problem, there since birth and had been living in constant pain.

Noel has to find a way to replace several discs in Ira’s neck and fuse a large section of his spine to stop the pain, making him bionic and giving Joye the chance of having her beloved companion back.



Clearly Ira’s spinal situation was deteriorating and Noel decided to proceeded with surgical intervention in order to try and slow the hasty deterioration of Ira’s condition, and in consultation with Joye they agreed to proceed and do all they could to alleviate Ira’s pain.

Noel performed multiple spinal distractions using a specially designed screw at each of the three disc spaces and custom bridging plates linked by rods. Bone graft was harvested from both of Ira’s arms and packed into the surgical site to help the bones of the neck to fuse together.



Ira recovered well from surgery and after a few days intensive rehabilitation at the hands of the physiotherapy department, Ira was back on his feet and walking well, and Joye had her best friend back!

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