Reason for Hydrotherapy
Spondylosis & Muscle Wastage
Pip started to attend Bluewaters Canine Hydrotherapy Centre in August 2018 due to spondylosis in the lumbar region of her spine and hind limb weakness/muscle wastage following a recent episode of pancreatitis.
On Pip’s first session I discussed her history with her owner and took muscle mass measurements from all four limbs. Her owner reported that Pip tended to struggle more on her left hind limb. Her muscle mass measurements were taken after her health check.
I conducted Pip’s first session in the hydrotherapy pool and since then she has done mainly underwater treadmill with occasional pool sessions. Pip took to both the pool and the underwater treadmill really well, in the pool Pip had a tendency to lean to the right and abduct her left hind limb, her hind limb extension was also quite moderate initially. In the treadmill Pip walked with a very wide stance on her hind limbs with quite marked abduction of her left hind. The stance phase on her left hind limb was also much shorter.
As Pip has progressed her left hind limb has straightened with less abduction, she sometimes does need some guidance to keep it straight but generally doesn’t need much intervention from us anymore most of the time. Pip is much happier to weight bear through her left hind limb however on her most recent session the stance phase on her right hind was slightly less than the left and the extension on her right hind limb was reduced. We are looking now to challenge Pip a bit more by reducing the water level in the treadmill so she has less buoyancy and support, this will be done gradually.
Pip’s owner has been delighted with her progress and reports a substantial improvement in Pip’s condition. Pip now seems much more confident and comfortable on her hind limbs and she is generally livelier and able to manage decent length walks with no problems. I re-measured Pip in late September, the results mean that she has gained 1cm on each forelimb, 1cm on her right hind and 3cm on her left hind. I am pleased to see that her hind limb measurements are now almost even.
Case Study by Laura Haywood RVN RCH