Meet Jasper the Doxie. When he began working with researchers at Cambridge University he was 10 years old and couldn’t walk without the aid of a wheel cart. His back legs were completely paralyzed due to spinal injury.
“Before the treatment we used to have to wheel Jasper round on a trolley because his back legs were useless,” his owner said, emphasizing the severity of his disability.
To treat his spinal injury, researchers injected cells from his own nose into his lower spinal cord. These “olfactory ensheathing cells” continue to grow into adulthood, suggesting regenerative abilities. Six months after treatment, Jasper had gone from using two paws to using all four.
“Now he whizzes around the house and garden and is able to keep up with the other dogs,” his owner said at the end of the trial. “It’s wonderful.” The short video below shows Jasper’s progress from before the injections to after.
Though it may be too soon to be overly optimistic, researchers hope Jasper has paved the way for human testing, given the dramatic improvements the brave little pup showed after treatment.
You can learn more about Jasper and witness his recovery yourself in this video from The Guardian: