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Top Police dog’s ‘Rocky’ road to recovery
23 August 2017
A ‘one in a million’ police dog is now back on the beat after having spinal surgery at Willows!
Rocky, a Springer Spaniel, was referred to Willows for treatment of a herniated disc that was compressing his spinal cord. The condition threatened to prematurely end his illustrious six-year career as a victim recovery dog with the Joint Operations Unit of the Thames Valley and Hampshire police forces.
The herniated disc was pressing down on his spinal cord, so spinal Specialist Sebastien Behr, Head of Neurology, performed the intricate surgery to decompress the spinal cord.
After the operation, Rocky, who was recruited from a rescue centre in 2011, faced a long road to full recovery.
PC Gavin Morgan, Rocky’s devoted handler, said: “We knew the recovery process was going to be just as crucial as the operation itself.”
Rocky spent a number of weeks at home and had several hydrotherapy sessions at Hamilton’s Canine Hydrotherapy, near Aylesbury.
“At first he wasn’t very keen on the hydrotherapy but now he’s definitely found his sea legs,” joked Gavin of his companion, who has been highly commended for his work with the police. “The vets were very impressed with Rocky's recovery, which they put down to the physiotherapy and the care, time and attention put in at home, including numerous short walks, monitoring his wounds and staples.”
Sebastien said: “Rocky was a model patient and everything went according to plan. We’re all delighted he has fully recovered.”
Rocky has now returned to active duty. His duties involve tracking down human remains, human blood at crime scenes and sites or vehicles in which human remains have been deposited.
In their six years together, he and Gavin have been involved in hundreds of cases and both have been highly commended for their contribution to major crime investigations.
The canine copper is due to retire next year, when he will become Gavin’s permanent companion. “I couldn’t bear to be without him,” said Gavin. “He’s one in a million.”
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