Barney back on track after major surgery

Barney, the cocker spaniel, is preparing for the final leg of a mammoth trek, despite undergoing major surgery after a serious injury.

Saturday, 13th January 2018, 6:47 am
Barney with vet Robert Young, owner SimonNeil and physio Heather Halton.

Owner Simon Neal, from Kirk Yetholm, and Barney had done the first 50 miles of the Southern Upland Way when injury struck in November 2015.

Simon feared their chance of finishing the 212-mile coast-to-coast walk was over but Kelso vet Robert Young successfully operated on Barney’s snapped cruciate ligament in his stilfle joint and canine physiotherapist Heather Halton followed up with phsyio sessions.

The 13-year-old cocker spaniel has completed another 130 miles of his epic dog walk, with 40 miles left to go. Now Simon is optimistic that he and Barney can finish the trek together this summer.

“I really didn’t think we would ever get to the point where we would complete the walk because Barney was so badly injured,” said Simon.

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“We always intended undertaking the walk in bite size stages. A couple of months after completing the first stage from Portpatrick, Barney was playing on open fields in Kirk Yetholm when he suddenly yelped and came limping over.

“I took him to the vet and there was a choice of an operation or allowing it to repair by itself and him being left with a limp.

“The operation went really well and he had lots of physiotherapy, but I was still amazed that he was fit and well enough to resume doing the Southern Upland Way.”

He hopes to get back out in the hills in March.

Vet Robert Young said: “To come back from an injury like this and be able to clock up so many miles is incredible.

“He’s a plucky wee dog, who enjoys life, and he has done so well to be able to continue this walk. Physiotherapy has been key to his recuperation as it is has made a big difference. He is a well looked after dog, who wasn’t overweight, which is important, and the surgery was done promptly so that gave him a good chance of recovering.”