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In mid-November, Bella, a 10 year old poodle, collapsed after her evening walk. Her owner took her to the emergency vet and they scheduled her for an appointment the following day at the specialty vet’s office in town.
Recently a new client came to us for hydrotherapy because her dog was turning 9 years old and she was beginning to notice he was slowing down a bit. He is a larger pit bull, and definitely heavier in the front end. She was having trouble walking and otherwise exercising him enough to keep his…
We’re often asked if we use life jackets during our dog hydrotherapy sessions at Rocky’s Retreat. The answer is no. Why? As you will see in this short video snippet, dogs often won’t move their back legs when swimming.
We had a very nice older couple come to Rocky’s Retreat the other day who just adopted a six year old springer spaniel just diagnosed with spondylosis. They were concerned about their ability to care for the dog as the disease progressed. They wanted to know if hydrotherapy could help and what else they could do for the dog.
Ginger, a 15 year old shiba/chow mix has pretty severe arthritis, as well as muscle atrophy and weakness in her hind legs. She’s been swimming with us for a number of weeks now, and during each swim session we’re working on specific techniques to maximize the movement in her rear legs and range of motion in her front legs. In a short time, there has been a noticeable improvement in both muscle tone and strength in her hind quarters.
ACL tears on dog’s knees seems to be very common these days, we hear about it all the time. Depending on the severity of the tear, it can sometimes heal on its own, other times surgery is warranted. Lulu, a bull mastiff / pit bull mix has been swimming with us for over a year initially to lose weight, then to maintain her weight. Along the way, probably because she was chasing rabbits, she tore her ACL.
We’re halfway through Baylor’s boot camp, and he’s looking good. He’s lost 7 pounds and his endurance and muscle tone is really improving. And you can now see his waistline! He still doesn’t care for swimming (imagine that for a lab) but he tolerates it. He’s now running on the treadmill instead of walking, swimming more with less rest, and he doesn’t get as winded when he plays with the other dogs.
My dog Yankee has walked all of his life in what’s called a “pace” gait. Unlike a standard gait where a dog’s diagonal legs move at the same time, a pace gate is where both limbs on the same side move forward and backward at the same time.
Thanks to DogTread, here’s a short video to show what I mean by a pace gait.
Prior to 2005, I didn’t know there was such a thing as canine massage! But after a vivid dream, I researched it, and changed careers. As ridiculous as it may sound to some people, aqua therapy, massage, aromatherapy, acupressure, and other modalities are viable, proven, non-invasive, holistic options for maintaining health and treating a wide range of conditions both in humans and animals.
Did you know that hydrotherapy, or water exercise was first used with horses and racing greyhounds? These animals were constantly exposed to the jarring effects of gravity and hard surfaces, putting extra stress on their bones and joints often causing injury. Because of its effectiveness, hydrotherapy in a warm water pool (with a temperature between 88 and 92 degrees) has become popular in most dog and cat rehabilitation centers.