Dogs with spinal cord injuries being tested for miracle recovery

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AMES, Iowa -- Meet Daisy. You might say she`s an underdog. Daisy`s been using a little chariot to get around for more than a year after hurting herself, jumping off a sofa. She hasn`t been able to walk since.

Kathy Jones, Daisy's owner, says, "Everybody stops. They think it's amazing."

Daisy's now part of a clinical trial at Iowa State University's Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center. They`re testing a treatment called chondroitinase. If it works, then it will help nerves regenerate, and the test dogs could walk again!

D. Hilary Hu with ISU Vet Medical Center says,  "What it is, is it breaks down the scar tissue in spinal cord and gives nerves a chance to regenerate after injury."

So far fifteen dogs with severe spinal cord injuries are enrolled in the program and the numbers keep growing.

Dr. Hu adds, "We've had dogs that have come in from New York. We have dogs that have finished the trial that have come in from Connecticut and Texas."

The International Spinal Research Trust is sponsoring the trial in hopes the treatment could one day benefit humans.

Dr. Hu explains,  "Spinal cord injury is one of the most difficult things to fix in vet and humans, so we're not expecting a miracle, but we do hope to see some improvements in these dog's function.

Most dog owners would agree that a short hop to Iowa would be a small price to pay to get their dog walking again.