A Tarporley dog has become one of only a handful of animals in the UK to be fitted with an innovative metal implant to help his mobility.

Two-year-old yellow Labrador Archie had been limping constantly much to the worry of owner Helen Watts, and although he didn’t seem to be in pain, she took him to ChesterGates Veterinary Hospital in Chester.

There he underwent surgery to correct a ruptured cruciate ligament injury and was then scheduled to be fitted for a rare 3-D printed metal implant.

The device, which has been specially developed for vets, enables the animal’s bone to grow into it, forming a natural bond and improving mobility performance considerably.

Helen said: “My vets at Birch Heath in Tarporley had referred me to ChesterGates for Archie’s operation and I had no idea what to expect when the vet drew the procedure on a piece of paper with a red pen how much at the cutting edge Archie’s op would be.

“It seems that labs are susceptible to cruciate problems.

“He’d been limping so much I couldn’t believe that after he had his surgery on a Thursday, I was able to pick him up the next afternoon. I was amazed when they brought him out tugging on his lead when he saw me. “He was using his leg - not 100% obviously, but enough to walk to the car.”

Helen added: “We have a long few months in front of us.

“We started with five minute lead walks increasing each time by five minutes. We’re now on three 15-minute walks a day, with the idea to build up muscle strength.

“I had heard about 3-D printing but hadn’t realised it was so cutting edge – it’s amazing.

“Both ChesterGates and my own vets have been fantastic and I can’t thank both of them enough.”