The easing of lockdown rules will finally allow a young Springer Spaniel to re-visit the “special” vets who came to his rescue last year.

Loki was the very first patient for Linnaeus-owned Veterinary Specialists Scotland (VSS), in Livingston, when the state-of-the-art animal hospital opened last October and he has made a remarkable recovery from a serious injury that required him to have a leg amputated.

With previous strict Covid-19 guidelines lifted, Loki is looking forward to going back to see the specialist team at the Linnaeus-owned hospital in Livingston exactly one year after they helped transform his life.

Freya Kennedy, a trustee of Springer Rescue for Scotland, explained: “Loki’s original owners brought him to us when he was just six months old, suffering with serious problems that affected both of his elbows.

“They did not have pet insurance, so asked us if we could take him in and help and, happily, thanks to special team at VSS, Loki is up and running again.

“I remember taking him in on that first day, the hospital was all so new and even the telephone answering machine was saying ‘We’re not open yet!’.

“They did a great job though, and Loki is as active and as energetic a springer spaniel as you will ever see, even if he does only have three legs.

“He goes for 5km walks every day, he loves swimming and he once amazed me when he jumped over a 1.1-metre stair gate that was supposed to keep him in!”

It’s all a far cry from the very lame puppy that was taken to VSS on that October day, with surgical specialist John Mosley taking charge of his treatment.

John recalled: “Loki had suffered a sudden, severe lameness in one of his front legs and a CT scan revealed the cause was a common developmental problem known as HIF/IOHC, which is a problem we see relatively frequently in the elbow joints of springer spaniels.

“It causes a weakness in the elbow and Loki had this problem in both joints. It had led to his left elbow fracturing badly and there was also a clear weakness in his right elbow, which could have fractured at any moment.

“After a long discussion with Springer Rescue, which included weighing up future potential complications with the badly affected limb, the decision was made to place a screw into the intact elbow to strengthen it, and to amputate the severely fractured limb.

“Surgery went well and, four weeks on, we were delighted to see him on Springer Rescue’s website going from strength to strength.

“The first patient always makes an impression on a new veterinary team but even more so when it’s a rescue dog.

“That’s why we’re so glad to have been able to help Loki on our opening day and why we’re looking forward to seeing him when he comes to visit soon.”

Loki seems to make that sort of impression on everyone he meets, as Freya confirms: “I was supposed to be finding a new home for Loki but he settled in so well with me that I’ve now adopted him.

“He’s a real star and I’m extremely fond of him. I must admit I spend a lot of time telling him to be careful and to go steady but he’s a typical springer and just goes for it regardless!

“Loki’s so active that other dog walkers often don’t realise he only has three legs as he’s still running around and playing just like his four-legged friends.

“It’s only when he comes close and stands alongside that they suddenly gasp: ‘Oh, your dog only has three legs!’”.

VSS is a specialist-led multidisciplinary referral centre offering industry-leading services in internal medicine (feline and canine), neurology, orthopaedics, and soft tissue surgery, supported by Specialists in diagnostic imaging and anaesthesia and analgesia.

For more information about Veterinary Specialists Scotland, visit

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