Vav Simon
(Mhairi Simon)

Clinical Director

01983 566009

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Star of the Month

To let everyone share in our excitement in their improvement, we thought we would highlight the great progress some animals
have made.

Heidi is an Alpaca

From Rescue to National Competition

My Buffalo's Back!

Back In The Show Ring

Over the Moon

Back in Perfect Balance

From ‘No Hope’ to Winning!

Life's a Canter for Trampus

A Brazilian Tapir's Bathroom Accident

But he’s not lame!

Miracle Achieved, 100%!

Nearly Put Down 2 Months Ago!

Mending Mabel

Getting the Measure of Tapeworm

Dedication Makes All the Difference!

Tara's Back-end is Back Again!

Sophie can Stand Again!

Better Than 100%

Lame, constipated, incontinent...

The Tale of the New Wag

Some of Our Success Stories

“We Nearly Put Him Down Only Two Months Ago!”

Max, a nine-year-old Doberman, refused to go outside for walks. Previously, he’d enjoyed his walks and playing with his owners Michelle and Gav. He had become wobbly behind, his back legs wouldn’t work properly, and they didn’t know why.

They took him to the vet, but Max had become terrified of strangers. “He was a quivering wreck with his tail so low he was almost sitting down” said Michelle. This meant that the vet couldn’t assess him properly, and his best guess was that it must be a neurological brain problem. Euthanasia was beginning to look inevitable.

Searching for Answers

But it had all come on so quickly that Michelle felt that couldn’t be the right assessment, and wanted to try other possibilities. Searching for a different answer amongst friends and experts, she heard about Vav and asked her to visit.

When Vav first arrived, Max wouldn’t let her get near, either. So she promptly ignored him and discussed the issues with Michelle and Gav. It seems that he had a fall the previous year and had become weaker over the last six months. Vav could see that he was scuffing his feet behind and he was also knuckling over in front. On a couple of occasions recently, he had splayed his back legs too, so the overall picture of weakness made sense of the vet’s diagnosis.

The Sniff Test

After a while, as they continued to talk, Max approached Vav very quietly and sniffed her. He probably found more horse smell than dog smell, as she was doing horse visits that day, so perhaps she didn’t smell too threatening! She scratched his bum, but he ran away again as soon as she tried to put two hands on him.

A little later, Max allowed Vav to touch his head and shoulders, and she managed to adjust his spine between the shoulders where it was needed. As soon as she did, he took off at high speed and crashed into the opposite wall of the lounge. From then on, he avoided her so she couldn’t check any further down the spine, though Vav could see from his movement that his pelvis was hurting him.

Stage by Stage

A week later, Vav returned to find Max much improved. He had been out for a walk, and Michelle hadn’t noticed any knuckling or scuffing of feet. He appeared less wobbly behind to Vav’s eye. He let her stroke further down his back this time and she adjusted a thoracic vertebra, but she had to leave his lumbar area and pelvis till next time.

The only way Vav achieved this was through some very unorthodox methods. She wanted to show him the treatment was accepted by the rest of his pack, so she sat Michelle in a chair and pretended to treat her. She hoped he would relax enough to let her treat him.

That seemed to go OK, and then Max brought a ball in from the kitchen to play with. Vav reached over a grabbed it. Max stiffened but stayed put. Vav tossed the ball from hand to hand, and Max stared, waiting for a throw. A game developed – slowly – with Vav growling as much as Max.

The turning point

And then Max brought his bone through. Again, Vav grabbed for it. This time Gav stiffened, expecting Max to get aggressive, or run away again. But Max stayed cool and the game went on again with increasing trust. This was the turning point.

At the third appointment a month later, Vav saw Max much improved yet again – his coat was shinier and his movement was much easier. He seemed to have had a little set-back as he was sore between his shoulders again, but he allowed Vav to do a full treatment this time. He needed a lot of adjustments from neck to pelvis, and he let Vav end with a quick massage as she usually would, to get the blood flowing in his muscles to ease the tensions further.

Back to Normal!

Arranging the next visit (Max lives on the mainland, which Vav visits in day-long rounds), Michelle said “He’s back to normal! He goes out for walks happily and cocks his leg without falling over. He even asks to go out by knocking on the front door, just like he used to!”

She went on: “You won’t recognise him – we’re really pleased considering we nearly put him down only two months ago!”