Pan’s People star Susie Menhenick was paralysed with fear when her beloved Boxer dog Ruby was left crippled and screaming in agony.
The Top of the Pops dancer admitted she feared the worst as Ruby’s condition worsened and her precious pet failed to respond to treatment for suspected pancreatitis.
But now Susie’s dancing with joy after referral clinicians at a new £5 million vet centre in Yorkshire stepped in to save the day and put Ruby on the road to a full recovery.
Experts at Paragon Veterinary Referrals, in Wakefield, carried out a series of tests which revealed the real cause of Ruby’s pain and incapacity – a ruptured disc in her neck, which was pushing against her spinal cord.
Several hours on the operating table repaired the damage and Ruby is now back home in the Wolds of East Riding with Susie and her record executive husband Michael Andrews, a former boss with EMI, Atlantic, Chrysalis and Papillon Records.
Susie, who also performed with famous TV dance troupe Legs & Co, said: “At one point, Mike and I were counting the days, fearing it was just a matter of time – but now we are counting our blessings.
“We can’t thank the vets and staff at Paragon enough. We were in a really dark place but suddenly they were telling us there was light at the end of the tunnel.
“It was a serious situation and operating so close to the spinal cord was obviously a risk but Paragon’s clinical director Adam Bell and surgeon Joachim Proot convinced us the surgery was well worth undertaking.
“They were so kind and caring, so professional and so gentle to Ruby, and to us, and they’ve now delivered a wonderful happy ending to an absolutely awful experience.”
Mike said: “Ruby had been so poorly we honestly feared we were losing her. She had deteriorated so quickly over a period of two weeks. She lost a stone in weight, she couldn’t walk, was almost paralysed and was repeatedly screaming out in pain.
“We couldn’t believe it. It was terrible but we made the best decision of all when we went to Paragon and left her in their care.”
Paragon’s clinical director Adam Bell was equally delighted with the outcome, especially after Ruby had arrived with such distressing symptoms.
Adam said: “When Ruby arrived she was intermittently screaming in pain, hunched, weak, was uncoordinated and had developed neurologic deficits in her limbs.
“We performed an MRI scan which revealed a ruptured disc compressing the spinal cord at the base of the neck.
“The next day, our soft tissue surgeon Joachim Proot performed decompressive surgery to repair the damage. All went well and her recovery was smooth and routine.
“The day after the operation Ruby was already walking again, albeit tentatively, and she was in much less pain and the following day she was very bright and mobile.
“We kept her a few days longer to be certain her improvement was being sustained before she left for home looking very happy indeed.”
Paragon Veterinary Referrals, which is part of the Linnaeus Group, is a state-of-the-art, multi-disciplinary referral centre, based in Wakefield. For more information, visit;