Paralysed lamb gets new lease of life with modified dog wheelchair
By Max McLean, PA
A lamb on a rescue farm in West Yorkshire has been given a new lease of life with the help of a modified dog wheelchair after losing the ability to walk.
Steven the lamb was born on Thursday March 18, but by Friday an infection meant he lost the use of his back legs.
By Sunday however, a dog wheelchair had been procured and readjusted to fit Steven’s back legs – now he “scoots around all over” with the other animals.
“Unfortunately we had to take him off mum, because she was standing on him – not because she was a bad mum, it’s that he couldn’t get out of the way,” farm owner Janet-Alison Arkwright, 44, from Oakworth, told the PA news agency.
“We ended up having him as a pet lamb.
“He scoots around all over on his back legs and he just wants to play, just like any other normal lamb wants to play.”
The farm near Keighley is home to a variety of rescue animals, with horses, alpacas, sheep, cows, chickens, ducks and geese among them.
Steven, a twin, was doing “really well at birth”, but deteriorated soon after.
At just a few days old he is having physio every day, although Janet is unsure whether he will ever walk again without assistance.
Steven, who is a Red Fox Sheep, has responded to the wheels in a positive fashion.
“Since he’s had his wheels, he’s getting stronger on his front legs, so he’s managing to lift his back end up even when he isn’t in his wheels,” said Janet.
“He keeps up with them (the other lambs) now.
“The only thing he can’t do is – because he’s got little wheels on – he can’t go in the field.
“His best friend’s Lilly. She’s an old foster dog, and Lilly took it upon herself to protect Steven, so wherever she goes he follows.
“They’ve become really good friends on the yard.”
Steven’s modified wheelchair can be adjusted as he gets bigger, while Janet said that larger wheels may help him navigate the field in future – if he needs them, that is.
“We’re hopeful that one day maybe he’ll walk again, because he wasn’t born that way,” she said.
“We will never ever put an animal we can help to sleep, ever.”