For more than a decade, experts have known that olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) might prove useful in treating damaged spinal cords.
The cells support nerve fibre growth that maintains a communication pathway between the nose and the brain.
Previous research suggests that OECs can help form a bridge between damaged and undamaged spinal cord tissue by regenerating nerve fibres.
Although the treatment had been shown to be safe in human patients, its effectiveness was unknown.
In the new trial, scientists studied 34 pet dogs that had all suffered spinal cord injuries as a result of accidents and back problems. None were injured deliberately for the sake of research.
A year or more after their injuries, the animals were unable to use their back legs to walk and incapable of feeling pain in their hindquarters.
More top news
Showers turning wintry across the higher ground, accompanied by a widespread frost
Several police were injured after violence erupted in Baltimore today after the funeral of a man who died in police custody.
Bournemouth all but sealed promotion to the top-flight for the first time in their history with a 3-0 win against Bolton.