Equine & Canine Therapy
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL52 6NH
The x-rays showed a unilateral deficit in muscle and poor socket formation to the one side. Our vet gave me three options:-
Guess which we chose. Our vet had no idea where! and suggested a friendly house owner with a pool. I rang around and finally rang the Royal Veterinary College. They had only two swimming pools on their records one in Cambridge and Stokenchurch. Stokenchurch is a little under a hour's journey but all the late nights and driving, not to mention the cost, has been worth every penny.
Tiegan swam twice a week for 30 minutes. Happily her follow-up x-rays at 12 months showed a normal hip joint formation and an incredibly fit dog! During the time we visited an osteopath monthly to ensure we were not doing any damage upon the advise of our vet.
We are now swimming all our dogs who not only thoroughly enjoy it (all manners are lost and the last 10 minutes of the journey are hell on our ear drums!) and are so much fitter without hammering their joints. I would recommend swimming to all owners of working dogs and more and more veterinary surgeons are recommending swimming as a physiotherapy treatment for post-skeletal surgery and fitness regime for returning to work, not to mention older dogs with conditions such as hip dysplasia.
We were lucky to have noted a potential problem early enough to do something and to have a veterinary surgeon who agreed to x-ray and suggest an alternative treatment. He knows how mad our family is about agility and would do anything possible for our dogs.
We believe that swimming has benefited all our dogs. We find their fitness levels are superb and touching wood have had no skeletal or lameness problems. I am convinced a large number of lameness and joint problems in agility dogs are due to lack of fitness and weight.
As for Tiegan, she competed in her first show at Ribble last year and had a five fault round in the Chum!! The whole family were on such a high for the journey home the three hours flew by! She went on to Senior in her first year and is now enjoying continued success in that group. No one believes Tiegan ever had a problem. We obviously had her spayed as soon as it became clear that she had a potential problem. The vet is thrilled with her and does not foresee any problems in the future. (12/06/01)