To let everyone share in our excitement in their improvement, we thought we would
highlight the great progress some animals
“Sadie has arthritis”, the vet said.
Anne had taken Sadie to the vet because she was getting over-
The vet explained that because of her painful joints, Sadie wasn’t walking as much. This lack of exercise meant that she didn’t burn off the calories as she used to. It was all getting worse in a vicious circle”
Sadie is a German Shepherd who used to walk for miles with Anne and Chris – further than they did because she was always rushing on ahead and rushing back. But she had slowed right down and had got to the stage where she didn’t really want to walk at all.
The vet put Sadie on painkillers to ease her ability to move and recommended hydrotherapy to exercise her joints. Vav assessed her and after one chiropractic treatment, devised a swimming programme to help Sadie gain fitness and mobility, and lose weight.
Sadie had to start with very short swims supported by her buoyancy aid. She was quite nervous to start with, which is often the case with unfit or injured dogs, as they are very aware of their vulnerability in the water. With reassurance and lots of praise and cuddles, Sadie gained confidence.
By her third visit she was swimming more strongly and was less puffed. She had progressed to three swims for two minutes each. Although this seems like a very short time to us, the intensity of the swim makes it very hard work. One minute of swimming equals about a mile of walking.
At the end of her first block of six sessions, Sadie was more active and lively at home. She had lost enough weight to show her waist again. And she had been chasing rabbits!
Anne has continued to bring Sadie swimming to keep up her fitness. Unfortunately, the arthritis will not go away, so the best thing for Sadie’s quality of life is to ease her mobility and keep her weight down. Nowadays she swims for nine minutes!
She still needs the painkillers, but has not needed the increased dose to cope with cold and wet days as she used to do. So the arthritis seems to not to be getting any worse and may be under control.
“Swimming has transformed her.” Anne said. “She is mobile, lively and alert. She doesn’t seem like an elderly dog anymore. She’s lost weight – one and half kilograms. We go out walking again – she stays beside us now, but then she is growing old. She can lie down and get up again easily, instead of in mini steps as she used to. She’s much happier in herself. And so are we!”