Our swimmers of the month for last 12 months - click on a month below

  • March - 2019 - Daisy Drayton
    Daisy Drayton

    Daisy is a 5 year old Dalmatian who was referred to Aquavet after collapsing with a ruptured disc in her spine that rendered her paralysed from the waist down.This was investigated at the vets and found to have a left sided intervertebral disc extrusion at L3-L4 which causes the spinal cord to be compressed, which also extended further up her spine. This is a severe spinal cord injury.

    After an MRI to find this out she had a left sided hemilaminectomy L3-L4 and also a mini hemilaminectomy at L2-L3 and a large amount of disc material was removed. A hemilaminectomy is the surgery performed to remove part of the vertebrae to relieve any excess pressure on the spinal cord.

    Once the wound from the surgery had healed Daisy could get going with intense physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.

    Daisy started on the underwater treadmill as this is more controlled and we can keep her spine straight and encouragement placement of her hind limbs by facilitating them ourselves. After a couple of months Daisy progressed into the pool to try and encourage her to use her hind limb and free off tension in her fore limbs and shoulders due to pushing all her weight forward.

    Daisy has physiotherapy and hydrotherapy to maintain her muscle in her fore limbs and free off any tightness.

    At home Daisy gets around in her doggy wheels, where she whizzes around the park saying hello to all her friends.


  • February - 2019 - Blossom Tomlinson
    Blossom Tomlinson

    Blossom is a 4 year old Bearded Collie who came to Aquavet in October 2018. Blossom has had a really tough time. She first had a Right hind T.T.A. (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement) This was followed by a post operative fracture of her tibia and fibular, the 2 bones in the lower part of the hind leg, and then a Left T.P.L.O in July 2018. (Tibial plateau levelling osteotomy) Both T.T.A and T.P.L.O are ways of repairing a cruciate ligament.

    Blossom started with physiotherapy and hydrotherapy treatment separately as it was too much for her to cope with in one session. She was given a home exercise plan to follow and we treat Blossom on the underwater treadmill.

    Blossom has completed 14 sessions to date and is making excellent progress. She is building muscle and her gait pattern is nearly normal. Blossom is a lovely affectionate dog who is always pleased to see us and get a tummy tickle.



  • January - 2019 - Pippin Loughran
    Pippin Loughran

    Meet Pippin, a 14 year old Black Labrador who first attended Aquavet in March 2016. She was referred with arthritis of her elbow and had stiff hind limbs.

    Pippin has hydrotherapy in the pool weekly to help maintain her range of movement as being in the pool is non weight bearing which gives her that. Mr Loughran says Pippin moves much easier after her sessions.

    Pippin now takes it easy at home but still likes to go out for walks because there are lots of sniffs and this helps keep her mobile.

    When Pippin first came she loved a tennis ball but now has more motivation for sprat treats. In fact in Pippins eyes, that is the main reason why she comes!

    Pippin lives with 3 other dogs, 2 black Labradors Meri and Monroe and the most recent addition, Revi the Springer Spaniel.

    Both Monroe and Revi have swum in our annual swimathon and are brilliant swimmers!

    Meri comes once a month to Aquavet along with Pippin, to help maintain her mobility and to help with any stiffness. Meri takes “excitable” to a whole new level and it’s all about the ball for Meri!

    Well done to all four of you, but especially Pippin!

    Keep up the good work!

  • December - 2018 - Elvis Eccles
    Elvis Eccles


    DECEMBER 2018


    Elvis is an 8 year old Sprocker who was referred to Aquavet in April 2018 with severe osteoarthritis in his hips and stifles, right elbow dysplasia and bilateral hip dysplasia.

    When Elvis first came he went on the underwater treadmill as this is more controlled so we could assess his gait pattern. Elvis progressed well on the treadmill. He was then transferred into the hydrotherapy pool to help build more muscle to protect his dysplastic hips and maintain mobility. In the pool he is non-weight bearing which is also beneficial to his arthritis.

    When Elvis first came he was slightly overweight and was attending weight management classes at the vets. Mrs Eccles has worked hard to help him lose the weight which has benefited all his joints. Now the vets are happy with his weight so Elvis is no longer on a strict diet and can afford a few treats so he is happy about this.

    He attends weekly hydrotherapy sessions and continues to do well.

    Well Done Elvis, keep it up!!

  • November - 2018 - Flynn Roberts
    Flynn Roberts

    SWIMMER OF THE MONTH - November 2018


    Flynn is a 9 year old Springer Spaniel who first came to Aquavet in April 2018. He was referred following sudden lameness of his left hind. An MRI scan diagnosed a F.C.E.M (fibrocartilaginous embolic myelopathy) a spinal stroke.

    On first assessment Flynn had very delayed proprioception (placing the paw the wrong way and how quick the dog returns it to normal position) of the right hind and a slight delay of the right fore. He had muscle atrophy of the right hind due to not walking correctly, however this was difficult to measure and compare due to the mass he had on his left hind.

    Flynn has physiotherapy fortnightly and hydrotherapy in the underwater treadmill weekly. Due to Flynn’s condition we started treatment very slowly and have gradually increased this as he has improved over time. Flynn does occasionally need facilitation of his right hind to remind his how to place it correctly and increase muscle bulk.

    Flynn did have the mass on his left hind removed in August this year as it was starting to interfere with his movement. Due to the stitches Flynn had a short break in treatment while he recovered. On his return he has continued to gradually improve and his muscle bulk is much more equal on both hind limbs.

    Flynn loves a treat for encouragement on the treadmill, but this creates a fair amount of drool, but we don’t mind!

    Well done Flynn. Keep up the good work!

  • October - 2018 - Misty Sanders
    Misty Sanders

    SWIMMER OF THE MONTH - October 2018

    Misty Sanders

    Meet Misty, the one-year-old Border Collie who first came to Aquavet in March this year, following a diagnosis of bilateral hip dysplasia.

    Misty attends for weekly hydrotherapy sessions in the pool to help to build the muscle around her hip joints. She also sees Sarah for physiotherapy on a fortnightly basis.

    When Misty first came she was understandably nervous about anyone touching around her hips.

    Now she is a very confident swimmer and is building muscle well on both sides.

    We always hear Misty when she arrives before we see her because she is so excited at the thought of her hydrotherapy swim!

    Well done Misty for making such huge progress with your treatment.

  • September - 2018 - Benji Gwynne
    Benji Gwynne

    Benji is a 13 year old Labrador cross. He first came to Aquavet in April 2018 with muscle atrophy (loss) and arthritic hips. He also has Addison’s disease. Addison’s is caused by a lower than normal production of hormones such as cortisol which is produced by the adrenal glands. These are situated near the kidneys. The symptoms include lethargy, weight loss and alopecia (hair loss). The treatment is usually a daily dose of fludrocortisone or prednisolone to help replace the missing hormone.

    Benji has always been an active swimmer in rivers etc. following his owner, Simon, on many fishing trips. I can’t say Benji jumps into the pool with enthusiasm, but when in, he swims very well. Back in April, Benji would be exhausted after one circuit of the pool. Now he has become much fitter and his recovery is extremely quick.

     You’re a star Benji. Well done!


  • August - 2018 - Lucy Gilling
    Lucy Gilling

    Meet the lovely Lucy, who is a lively 13 year old Golden Labrador.

    Lucy first came to Aquavet in January 2015 after having her right cruciate ligament repaired. Her ligament was repaired by a T.T.A (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement). This involves making a cut in the bone and then using a wedge and plate to help keep this bone forward eliminating the abnormal sliding movement in the stifle (knee) joint. This is what the cruciate ligament would have done before it was ruptured.

    Lucy was treated by Chartered Physiotherapist Sarah Edge and given a home exercise plan to follow to aid her recovery.

    Lucy started hydrotherapy on the underwater treadmill as this is more controlled exercise and we could assess her gait pattern , correcting any abnormalities as well as building muscle. Once the stifle was stable Lucy transferred to the pool to continue building muscle and carry on the progress she had made.

    Lucy continues to attend hydrotherapy fortnightly. Being non – weight bearing in the water helps maintain her mobility and range of movement. Her devoted owner (Helen Gilling) has invested a lot of time and effort into Lucy’s rehabilitation as well as keeping her weight down which in turn has helped her arthritis.


  • July - 2018 - Crumble Wainwright
    Crumble Wainwright


    JULY 2018


    Crumble is a 3 year old Labrador Cross with bilateral (both sides) hip dysplasia. This is a malformation of the ball at the top of the femur and or the socket. She first came to Aquavet in March this year.

    Crumble is a very nervous dog but has learnt to trust us. She has regular physiotherapy, weekly hydrotherapy and follows an exercise plan at home and is taking joint supplements.

    This has all helped to build muscle and improve comfort around her hips to support the joints. Crumble is progressing well and will hopefully be allowed off lead soon.

    She wears a swim hat because she doesn’t like the water in her ears, but she looks like a seal. (we don’t laugh, honest! )




  • June - 2018 - Rosie Webster
    Rosie Webster


    Meet the lovely Rosie. She is an 11 year old Golden Retriever. Rosie came to Aquavet in July 2017 to help build muscle and strengthen her left hind leg.

    Sadly, Rosie had to have her right hind leg amputated in November 2015 due to a tumour. It was completely successful and she has coped really well. This meant that her remaining leg has taken all the strain, and as she has aged, the muscle tone has reduced. Hydrotherapy has given Rosie non weight bearing exercise enabling her to strengthen the leg, build muscle, increase her range of movement and therefore increasing her exercise tolerance as well as improving her quality of life. Rosie wasn’t too keen to start with, but has settled now and seems to enjoy her sessions. She particularly enjoys holidays with Colin and Katherine, her devoted owners, and running on the beach.


  • May - 2018 - Tyson & Lacey Pollard
    Tyson & Lacey Pollard


    Tyson came to Aquavet in November 2017 with Osteoarthritis in his hips, stifles (knees) and hocks (ankles). He has attended physiotherapy and has exercises to do at home (when he is feeling co-operative) Tyson is a rescue Staffordshire Bull Terrier. He has had hydro previously but did not progress. When he first came to us, he was quite nervous. We spent time letting him relax in the surrounding and playing with his ball and slowly let him stand in the water until he felt safe to swim. Tyson now comes strutting through the door with his ball in his mouth, keen to start his session. During his time with us Tyson has improved his mobility, increased his exercise tolerance and above all has built muscle to support his joints. Lacey, his little sister, has also joined in by coming for a fun swim from time to time. She was also unsure about going in the pool but with a bit of patience and understanding you can achieve a lot.




  • April - 2018 - Keppie Goddard
    Keppie Goddard




    Keppie is a 10 and a half year old West Highland White Terrier. He first came to Aquavet in July 2017 with a right cruciate strain and Osteoarthritis in both his hips and stifles (knees). At that time Keppie was not his usual happy self. He was in a lot of pain with his joints and his walks had become difficult. Keppie has physiotherapy with Sarah Edge and weekly hydrotherapy on the underwater treadmill. By November Keppie had built up muscle and improved his range of movement which has given him a better quality of life. His exercise tolerance had increased and he was able to swim in the pool, which is non weight bearing, supporting his arthritic joints further. Keppie now alternates between swimming and the treadmill. He continues to have physiotherapy. Keppie is now back to his happy cheeky self, giving his devoted Mum, Lynne, the run a round. I’m sure she wouldn’t have it any other way.