Case Study


Name: Tigger


Breed: Whippet


Age: 6 years old

Reason for Hydrotherapy

Acute Paraplegia following Traumatic Disc Injury

Tigger started to attend Bluewaters Canine Hydrotherapy Centre on 4th February 2018. Tigger slipped over whist out on a walk in December 2017 which resulted in a disc lesion on Tigger’s spine; Tigger sadly lost the use of her hind limbs along with urinary and faecal control. Unfortunately due to the nature of the injury surgery wasn’t an option for Tigger and her prognosis was quite poor, thankfully her dedicated owners researched other options and Tigger started acupuncture and physiotherapy treatment along with supportive medication.

Tigger eventually started her hydrotherapy treatment with us, initially she was incredibly weak and her gait was very uncoordinated with some scuffing of her right hind paw as she walked. Tigger had just started short walks with her owners but was unable to walk for long before becoming too weak. 

We started Tigger’s treatment in the pool which she took to really well with the help of a squeaky ball! Tigger was too weak to use the pool ramp initially so had to be lifted over the side. She started to move her hind limbs straight away unaided but the use of them was intermittent and she required stimulation from hydrotherapist Laura to encourage better use of her hind limbs. Tigger kicked her left hind limb out to the side (abducted the limb) as she swam and she was quite stiff through her hind limbs.

Tigger progressed really well through her sessions and her strength gradually improved so we started to encourage her to go up and down the pool ramp, she would sometimes scuff her hind paws slightly but as she got stronger this started to reduce. We then decided to move her treatment into the underwater treadmill to help to re-educate her gait as she was still quite un-coordinated through her hindlimbs and scuffing her right hind limb as she walked.  

Tigger progress in the treadmill has been astonishing and each week her owner seems to list another improvement that she has made. She started off very stiff and with quite an uncoordinated gait but this is improving week after week. Her range of movement through her forelimbs was quite poor to start with so her forelimbs were guided to achieve the correct gait and re-educate Tigger what the correct movement should be. Her hind limbs were also very stiff with poor flexion and protraction (forward movement).  There was quite a delayed replacement of both hindlimbs and Tigger placed them quite heavily on the treadmill belt. Tigger’s hind limb movement still requires some intervention from us but she now has a much more regular gait pattern and there are far less proprioceptive deficits.

Tigger’s owners have been delighted with her progress, Tigger can now go up and down the stairs at home unaided, her coordination and gait has massively improved and she is now walking much straighter, there is also very little scuffing of her right hind paw.  Tigger can enjoy her walks again with her family and run around like she used to, her strength has greatly improved.  Her owners report to see her running again you wouldn’t know there had been anything wrong! Tigger has gained a substantial amount of muscle on all four limbs since the start of her treatment and the muscle mass on her hind limbs is now even, previously there was 4 cm difference between the two measurements.

Tigger has come on in leaps and bounds since the start of her treatment with us so has well and truly lived up to her name! She is proof that hard work and determination pays off and there is a good quality of life to be had after such a serious injury.  Tigger is a firm favourite of ours here at the centre and we look forward to seeing her each week for fuss, cuddles and kisses which she gives in abundance. Well done Tigger!

Tigger had an injury after chasing a wall which left her unable to use her back legs. A disc lesion in her spine was diagnosed causing the problem. She was unable to stand on her own but with constant love, care, physiotherapy, acupuncture and hydrotherapy she is now walking and running. The vets had said that she may never walk again.

Tigger has been coming to Bluewaters for a year now, she started with the swimming as she couldn’t stand at the time, and she now goes in the underwater treadmill every week. This has made her legs so much stronger and enabled her to walk and run straighter. She can now go up and down stairs whereas before she couldn’t.

The facilities at Bluewaters are always clean and welcoming. Laura and Odette are both so professional, happy and helpful. Laura has been amazing with Tigger’s treatment in her recovery. We started coming to Bluewaters 4 months after her initial injury after reading case studies on the website and being prepared to try anything to help Tigger’s recovery. The vet had recommended hydrotherapy at Bluewaters. Tigger totally trusts Laura and really loves her, whilst in the treadmill always giving her kisses. I think it must feel nice in there as she is a dog who loves exercise. Each week she has improved in her mobility and slowly but surely she is getting better and better. Tigger loves to come to Bluewaters and cries to go in while she is waiting in the reception area. Although her recovery has been a long, hard, slow journey we are so grateful for Bluewaters, especially Laura for all the love, support and help she has given to our little Tigger as I know it has made such a difference in her road to recovery and we will always be grateful thank you.

Rosie from Redditch

Tigger's Owner

Case Studies


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