Stampy the Cavashon has been hit by a car, and is brought in to Fitzpatrick Referrals by Jim, a farmer, and his six year-old daughter Jess. Stampy is in a critical condition. He has been paralysed from the waist down. Noel can operate but the chances of Stampy ever walking again are slim, leaving Jim and his wife Karen with a difficult dilemma of whether to take the chance and put him through surgery, or just to let him go.


Little Stampy is a very much loved family member and it broke Jim and Karen’s heart at the thought that there may be no hope for him. Noel was very open about the options for Stampy and explained that Stampy’s prognosis was very guarded and that surgery was his only hope for regaining his quality of life again.

An MRI revealed that Stampy’s spine had been fractured when the car hit him. The broken bones in Stampy’s back were crushing his spinal cord and without prompt surgical intervention it was clear his spinal cord would be soon damaged beyond recovery. Stampy was rushed to theatre and surgery to remove the bone fragments from the spinal canal and stabilise the broken back bones using pins and cement was carried out.

Stampy recovered well from surgery and within 12 hours of surgery the physiotherapy team were focussing on getting him back on his feet; however his recovery was painfully slow!  A couple of days after surgery  Noel was reluctant to raise the hopes of Stampys family but he had shown some small signs of voluntary movement in one of his back legs. It was a very tough time for Karen and Jim and all those involved in taking care of Stampy. Everyone was hoping this little dog would make a good recovery.

Miraculously, Stampy fought on and everyone was delighted that the surgery coupled with intensive physiotherapy and hydrotherapy meant he progressed to the point that he was able to walk well with sling support. The team was delighted when the day arrived that Stampy was strong enough to be discharged! With a pinky promise, Noel told Stampy’s family to make sure the enthusiastic little Stampy was kept as calm as possible at home while his fractured bones finished healing. As Noel says:

It is quite amazing how significant his improvement has been following his spinal fracture fixation. Jim and Karen are very happy and there is no need for further treatment. He has now returned to full-range normal activity!” 

Everyone at Fitzpatrick Referrals fell in love with Stampy and it’s so amazing when one of our patients that had such little hope of recovery, pulls through and surprises all of us with their will to survive. Seeing Stampy running around now brings a smile – and even a little tear of joy – to all of us. Go Stampy!