This is a story about my 20 month old Labrador, my family bought her from a breeder and everything was going great but when sallie was 9 months old she started limping really bad on her left leg and we took her to the vet and at first we thought she had pulled a muscle in her leg so we rested her for a few weeks but the limp did not go away but got worse so we took sallie back to the vets and they took an x-ray of her leg and they could see a chip in her elbow so are vets referred sallie to a specialist vet and sallie had surgery to remove the chip. It took a few weeks for Sallie wound to heal and her limp did decrease but it did not go away after going back to the specialist for a check up her said that Sallie has got arthritis and he gave us tablets to help her joints.
Now sallie is over a year old and she still has her limp so we took her to the vets to check her leg and that’s when the vet recommended hydrotherapy which we had heard of but did not know where are local one would be to are surprise there was a centre 20 minutes away from us so the vet sent a referral letter and my parents went to see the centre and decided to book sallie in for her very first swim.
sallie loves water and the first time she saw the pool she was a little unsure but once she got in the water she was loving it and she did not want to come out she wears a body vest that keeps her a float and sometimes she also wears a collar around her neck to keep her head up as she loves to try and go diving in the pool, but the instructor does take her vest and collar of so she can have a swim without her vest and collar.
she swims once a week, and what the instructor does is that he gets her to swim in circles and swim in different directions to get her to use her legs in all different directions to get her to stretch and use her legs and this get her legs moving the most, what also gets her moving is the instructor throws her toy the other side of the pool and they race to get the toy first, she will swim for a short time and then she will rest on the platform that leads into the pool then she will swim again the instructor makes sure she has rests in-between her lesson she has had 6 swims now and her limp has dramatically reduced she hardly limps she is a lot more active and happy in herself , we may never get rid of her arthritis but if the swimming helps reduce the pain and swelling then she will swim for the rest of her life, the instructors also stretch her legs out in the pool to help her stretch and help her muscles.
I would highly recommend hydrotherapy to any dog owner it is a none impact and most dogs love to go in the pool it is warm water the instructors are all fully trained and it is not expensive I have seen an improvement in my dog and I would recommend hydrotherapy to any dog owner.