Fergus struggled to walk after developing a mystery illness, but he's now bounced back from the injury to become an Extraordinary Dog.
His owners noticed a problem when Fergus was just a few weeks old when he had difficulties to walking and standing from a sit. He refused his food and slept excessively. Fergus' owner Vanessa Leppard, from Crowborough, East Sussex, was told his behaviour was probably normal for a growing puppy of his size, but her concerns only grew as his unusual character quirks continued. After talking to Fergus’ breeder she got in touch with a specialist.
Although the cause is unknown, the huge Leonberger underwent a course of muscle therapy called Galen Myotherapy - a specialist form of canine treatment - and is now displaying usual puppy behaviour.
His remarkable turnaround is set to be celebrated at Crufts where he will be named 'extraordinary dog of the year' by Julia Robertson, founder of Galen Myotherapy.
Vanessa said, "I really do not know what we would have done if we had not found Galen Myotherapy and Julia. He could have been looking at a life of operations and pain, but she has given Fergus a great future.
"Julia has a special way with dogs and seemed to understand straight away what was causing him problems. She undoubtedly gave Fergus a new lease of life and having him named as Galen’s Extraordinary Dog of the Year award is just the icing on the cake."
Julia’s treatment is derived in-part from massage and helps dogs suffering from musculoskeletal pain, arthritis and underlying issues. After just one session Vanessa noticed an improvement in Fergus' behaviour - he was able to stand more easily, walked happily and climbed on the furniture like any cheeky puppy.
Julia, a former veterinary nurse, said, "Fergus’ transformation from a slow-moving, fatigued bottom-shuffler to a bouncy puppy that’s full of energy has been incredible and wonderful to see.
"He has been a joy to work with and his remarkable turnaround made him first choice for Galen’s Extraordinary Dog Award."
Fergus will be presented with his award at Galen’s stand at Crufts at 12pm on Saturday, March 11.