A tiny paralysed Chihuahua can now walk - after it was given a custom designed 3D printed bionic implant.

Owner Zoe Cekalla, from High Wycombe, took four-month-old Ping to the vet after noticing he struggled walking on all four legs.

The chihuahua was instantly referred to specialists and Ping was diagnosed with a severe malformation in his neck.

CT and MRI scans showed that Ping's bones were not formed properly at birth leading to instability and a pressure on the spinal cord.

He was hospitalised and put in a neck brace while he waited for surgery, which he received six days later.

Experts at Hamilton Specialist Referrals in Cressex Business Park used custom designed 3D printed guides to position 1mm screws to stabilise his neck.

Veterinary neurologist John Parker said: "When Ping was first brought in to us he was depressed and couldn't walk.

"The weakness had progressed rapidly and was affecting all of his limbs.

"He also had a head tilt and his eye reflexes were reduced. We knew from these signs the problem was localised to his brain or cervical spinal cord."

John added: "The technical term is atlantoaxial subluxation, which means the first two bones in the neck were partially dislocated. The second neck bone (the axis) hadn't formed completely and the area needed stabilising to provide Ping any chance of recovery.

"However, Ping was so small - he weighed barely a kilogram - and in such a tiny space, traditional orthopaedic implants would be too large to place safely".

Ms Cekalla said: "He's such a tiny little puppy and I was devastated when he became so weak.

"When I heard he needed spinal surgery I couldn't believe such a tiny dog would cope with such a major procedure.

"The team at Hamilton's were fantastic and I can't thank John, Michael and the whole team enough for all their expertise and care.

"It truly is amazing that my bionic puppy is back to his normal self so quickly".

Ping made a remarkable recovery and one week later he was able to walk out of the hospital for a pain-free, happy, normal life.