A young German shepherd has a new lease on life thanks to a lot of love and some delicate surgery performed in Moncton.

“Remi” was born with a problem in his spine. Owner Kelly Boldon knew early on he wasn't like other puppies.

“He seemed to start to get up and he would fall over,” she said.

Remi was taken for a CT scan and had his X-ray read by an expert radiologist in Texas. Following his diagnosis, Remi had his surgery performed at the Riverview Animal Hospital.

To alleviate the pressure on Remi’s spine, Dr. Runyon took the sides off his vertebrae to give his spinal cord more room.

“I had to be very careful because the vertebrae had healed back in an abnormal way and I wasn't really sure which direction the spinal cord was going,” said Dr. Runyon. “We had to go millimetre by millimetre to make sure we didn't do any damage.”

Remi is now on the road to recovery, but Boldon says her dog's pre-operation physio was as important as the routine he now following his surgery.

“We did a lot of massage therapy, swimming therapy, we had him in a brace that I could help to hold up his hind end so he could still walk – just things to get him strong,” said Boldon.

All of which doesn't come cheap. But Boldon says helping Remi was an easy decision.

“I love him and there's just nothing I wouldn't do for him,” she said. “There's a lot of dog people that feel the same way about their animals. They become a part of the family and if it's within your power to do it, you'll do it.”

Now seven months old, Remi is regaining his strength with the help of his specially designed wheelchair. Dr. Runyon says eventually, he should be on all four legs without any kind of assistance.

“That's our plan and he's made tremendous advances in just one month, so I'm hoping that he keeps going,” she said.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis.