Case Study


Name: Barney


Breed: Staffordshire Bull Terrier


Age: 9 years old

Reason for Hydrotherapy

Intervertebral Disc Extrusion

Barney started to attend Bluewaters Canine Hydrotherapy Centre on 25th June 2016 following the extrusion of intervertebral disc contents that compressed his spinal cord. Decompressive surgery was performed to correct this and Barney began his hydrotherapy treatment with us 8 weeks post- surgery. As Barney was very weak on his hind limbs and required a belly sling to walk into the centre, we started his treatment in the hydrotherapy pool with support from both hydrotherapists (Julie and Laura). Barney can be quite nervous of strangers and handling so we had to progress very steadily and at his pace, he was a little anxious on the first few sessions but soon started to really enjoy his time in the pool, particularly when a tennis ball was involved. There was initially minimal movement through either hind limb and his right hind limb was particularly stiff with minimal flexion. With the use of various stimulatory techniques in the pool Barney’s range of movement through both hind limbs greatly improved. He also knuckled his right hind limb especially when he was tired post session and at times as he arrived. As Barney got stronger he was able to walk into the centre unaided which was such a wonderful thing for us all to see. We did try Barney in the underwater treadmill once but he was quite anxious in there and just wanted to be in the pool so we have continued with that as he enjoys it so much and benefits. It is nearly 3 years since the start of Barney’s journey with us and he has gone from strength to strength. He adores his time in the pool and almost drags his owners down the corridor. His range of movement in the pool has greatly improved, but he sometimes needs reminding to use both hind limbs properly as he will lock his right hind limb in full extension especially if he is more focused on the ball than his swimming. Barney’s strength has increased greatly and he walks out of the pool with no knuckling of his hind paws and very little weakness. Barney’s owners have been delighted with his progress, and report that he can enjoy decent length walks with minimal issues, his mobility is really good and you would have to look quite closely now to notice any issues. Barney still attends the centre once a fortnight for a maintenance session, his hydrotherapy provides him with good non weight bearing exercise which keeps his joints strong, maintains his muscle mass, and he loves it, which helps! Barney’s muscle mass increased significantly as a result of his treatment; he hasn’t been re-measured for a while as he gets quite anxious when handled in that way so we don’t push him as we want him to enjoy his treatment. However, when he was last measured he had gained 4-7 cm on his hind limbs and 5-6 cm on his forelimbs which is brilliant. Barney is such a character to have at the centre, he thoroughly enjoys his sessions with us. We always say we don’t need to go down to reception to see if he has arrived for his session as he lets us know that himself! Barney’s favourite trick is to fill his ball up with water and squirt hydrotherapist Laura with it – he’s very cheeky! Barney’s progress is certainly one of our best success stories, he lives life to the full and can go on regular walks and enjoy his life which is wonderful considering he underwent such major surgery.

Well done Barney!

Barney is an 8-and-a-half-year-old Staffordshire Bull terrier. We first came to Bluewater’s with Barney 2 and a half years ago after Barney had an accident that left him with a ruptured a disk in his spine, this left him paralysed in his back legs and he was unable to walk . After surgery he was on crate rest and we did physio with him at home. After 3 months we decided to try hydrotherapy for rehabilitation, we did our research and found Bluewater. After reading a case study and story about a dog who had been to Bluewaters with similar issues and had had fantastic results from coming here, we decided we would come along and see if it would help her our boy. Initially Barney could not move his back legs and was very stiff he was very wary of the staff and the pool and wasn’t keen on his first swimming session and hated the shower. The girls worked with him in the pool and were very kind, patient and encouraging and by the end of the first session he began to relax a little bit, the second time we came he was a lot happier and was happy to be handled, over the next few months the girls worked tirelessly with him to get his legs moving they got him motivated through play to start using his legs more himself. Over time he started making such a good improvement he no longer needed the rehabilitation
sessions. He was now back to slowly walking unaided, his muscle mass had increased, and he was getting back to enjoying small walks. Barney loved these sessions so much we decided that we would continue to bring him for fun and fitness.
Barney loves these sessions so much that 10 minutes before we even arrive at Bluewaters he gets so excited he starts making loud noises and this continues once inside the reception area. Barney certainly lets the girls Know when he has arrived. Thanks to the tireless commitment, kind, caring, patient, understanding and loving interaction between Julie, Laura and Barney our boy has had an amazing recovery. Barney has such an incredible bond with Laura he absolutely adores her and cannot wait to get to his next session for more fun in the pool. He doesn’t even mind shower time with Holly now either although he still doesn’t like to give her the ball back at the end of the session. His whole personality has changed he is a much healthier, happier, trusting dog, and his confidence has grown too, he is now back to being a very happy, cheeky boy who can now run and play with his ball and go on long walks with the family. This is something we had hoped for but never thought would happen, and for this to be a reality is fabulous. This is all down to the wonderful team at Bluewater they are all incredible and have completely transformed our dog and our lives. I cannot thank you all enough. You are all Amazing. THANKYOU
Michelle & Andy

Barney's Owners

Case Studies


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