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Former Blue Peter star thanks Suffolk animal charity after dog’s life was saved

PUBLISHED: 12:10 02 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:10 02 August 2018

Mr Purves, with Teddy and Dr Fabio Stabile Picture: AHT

Mr Purves, with Teddy and Dr Fabio Stabile Picture: AHT


A former Blue Peter presenter has been reunited with his dog after lifesaving surgery at a west Suffolk animal charity.

Teddy, a 10-year-old standard dachshund, owned by Peter Purves and his wife, was treated at the Animal Health Trust’s (AHT) small animal clinic – which is based in Kentford, near Newmarket.

After Mr Purves noticed a change in Teddy’s character and started to slow down, the dachshund was referred to the small animal clinic in June with a suspected slipped disc following a vet’s appointment.

It was feared Teddy would lose the ability to walk and when he was admitted, he could not walk on his back legs at all.

A full neurological examination and MRI scans were performed by the AHT, confirming Teddy had a slipped disc and identified compression of the spinal cord.

Peter Purves and wife collect Teddy from the AHT Picture: AHTPeter Purves and wife collect Teddy from the AHT Picture: AHT

Surgery was the only option and the AHT’s Dr Fabio Stabile performed the life-saving operation.

Mr Purves said: “I have complete confidence in the AHT. They have treated several of my dogs as Dachshunds, having long backs, are prone to this problem.

“In fact, Fabio operated on Teddy’s dad, Woody, several years ago. The AHT is a wonderful place, you know the people who work here really care about their patients and the work they do, through research, has profound benefits to the veterinary profession and animal health.

“I’m very grateful to live so close to such a wonderful organisation and that Teddy has made a full and fantastic recovery.

Teddy up and walking after his life-saving operation Picture: AHTTeddy up and walking after his life-saving operation Picture: AHT

“He is an old dog, but a strong dog, and everyone here has done a superb job getting him through this major operation so that he can walk and enjoy life again.”

One month later, after strict cage rest and limited exercise, Teddy has been back to the AHT for a check-up and has been given the all clear.

An important part of Teddy’s diagnosis was the MRI scan to be able to see the damage to the spinal cord.

The AHT pioneered the use of MRI scans in veterinary medicine in the 1990s, and showed the veterinary profession how this diagnostic tool could be taken from human medicine and used to help animals.

Teddy recovers after surgery Picture: AHTTeddy recovers after surgery Picture: AHT

Last year, the AHT ran a major fundraising campaign to upgrade their MRI machine, raising over £400,000 for a brand new MRI scanner which is now completed.

Kevin Clements, director of fundraising and marketing at the AHT, said: “We’re really pleased that there has been such a positive outcome for Teddy. “The use of MRI was key in his diagnosis so the work we have done over the last 75 years in pioneering this technology has been vital.

“But, we’re not stopping there. There are so many more animals that need our help – thousands we see in the clinics and millions who benefit from our world-class research.

“We can only continue to help dogs, like Teddy, with donations from people who care about animals, so if you would like to help us fight cancer, epilepsy, blindness and other debilitating conditions affecting dogs, please donate online at”

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