Posted 3 months ago
By Leila Marshall
Despite loving to jump into nearby rivers and ponds, my Springer Spaniel, Mack, hates his hydrotherapy sessions. He licks his lips with discomfort every time he steps paw into the pool. But the sessions have really helped to improve my crazy boy’s leg, allowing him to bound around with ease again.
Mack’s arthritis was causing him to limp on his right leg constantly. It was particularly bad when he first got up out of his bed and he could barely walk. On walks he would walk with a constant limp but tried hard to run around like Springers do. It broke my heart when I saw him pick up his paw off the ground as it hurt him so much.
At his regular trip to the vets, we were advised by the vet to go to hydrotherapy sessions. I thought, “What, swimming for dogs? What a waste of money. We should just take him to the river again.” They advised that the exercises they offer really help to improve muscle problems that older dogs tend to get. He was also put on medication, and we were told to give him paracetamol to stop the pain (yes, I didn’t know dogs could take it either.)
On his first few sessions at the pool, back in October, Mack had to be almost pushed into the water by his instructor at House of Hound Hydrotherapy in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, as he was so scared. I think the chlorine and strange sounds of the pool might have got to him. Now, he now glides around in the water with ease.
After a few months of hydrotherapy and medication, my old boy was leaping around like a puppy again, he had no limp and had stopped raising his paw off the ground. When we returned to the vets with him, she noticed how Mack’s bad leg muscle had grown back.
I would urge anyone who has an older dog that struggles with mobility due to arthritis and muscle problems to try hydrotherapy. It’s really fun to watch them in the pool, and I think deep down, he enjoys it really. Although the video doesn’t quite show it.
You can find Mack’s hydrotherapy centre here: https://www.houseofhoundhydrotherapy.co.uk/