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

  • January - 2018 - Beau Marshall
    Beau Marshall


    JANUARY 2018

    Beau Marshall

    Beau was 18 months when he came to Aquavet in February 2017 following bilateral (both) hip replacements. His path has not been an easy one – both have dislocated and required further surgery. The left had to be removed leaving Beau with no hip joint. Due to the shear size and weight of his breed Beau pushed much of his weight onto his front legs. He put a great deal of stress on all his growing joints, muscles and tendons thus causing over extension of many of his joints and over stretching tendons rather like an elastic band. These are difficult to treat, so Beau wears supports on his hocks (ankles) one of which was custom made for him from a plaster mould. This holds his limbs in the correct position. Beau has been attending physiotherapy and treadmill sessions for nearly a year now. He has made some amazing progress much of which is due to the dedication of his owners Sam and Jessica. Beau will probably always need this support to maintain his mobility. He is a truly gentle giant who takes it all in his stride.

  • December - 2017 - Winston Naylor
    Winston Naylor

    Meet Winston who is an 8 year old miniature smooth haired dachshund. Winston came to Aquavet in June this year following a disc extrusion of the spine at T11-T12 which caused spinal compression. He had a surgical procedure called a hemilaminectomy in May 2017 which removes the extruded discs. He was non- ambulatory ( unable to walk) for a time. Winston had some deep pain response but had no proprioception meaning he knuckled his hind limbs.

    Winston started in the underwater treadmill with lots of support so we could help re-educate his gait, facilitate his legs and assist in waking up the damaged nerves to aid him back to being mobile. He started with very short session times as he tired quickly. He has now had 14 sessions and has improved dramatically in his ability to walk with less support and his time has increased on the treadmill. Winston has his treadmill sessions alternately with physiotherapy sessions with Sarah Edge .He still requires a rear end harness to protect his spine. His owners have noticed how much he has improved at home.

    Winston is such a character and we look forward to being barked at even though he should know who we are by now!


  • November - 2017 - Merlin Piechocinski
    Merlin Piechocinski



    This is the lovely Merlin who is the grand old age of 15!!

    He has been coming to Aquavet for 7 years. Merlin was diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia as a puppy but it did not bother him until he was around 7 years old. He had his first hip replacement on the right hip in 2009 at Willows Veterinary Centre. All went well and the following year he had his left hip replaced. This replacement did not recover as well as the first and Merlin ended up having a femoral head and neck excision on this hip. Now there is no hip at all on this side but it is no longer causing him any discomfort. However after this, Merlin had even more bad luck when he broke his right femur on the “good leg” on Boxing Day of all days. He now has a plate in this leg.

    Merlin alternates between the treadmill and the pool to maintain his muscle mass and also sees Sarah for physiotherapy.


  • October - 2017 - Silky Davis
    Silky Davis

    SWIMMER OF THE MONTH - October 2017

    Silky Davis

    Silky is a 6 month old Shih Tzu puppy, she started swimming in July at 16 weeks for fun. Swimming is a great form of exercise for young dogs as it is non weight bearing and doesn’t put pressure on growing joints. Too much exercise on young undeveloped joints can cause problems later in life.

    Unfortunately in August Silky was diagnosed with luxating patella. This is a condition which affects the dogs stifles (knees), the patella (knee cap) slips in and out of the trochlear groove which causes discomfort and lameness. As Silky is a young puppy and her joints and ligaments are still growing and developing the vets are hopefully, that with hydrotherapy and physiotherapy her ligaments round her stifles will become tighter and stronger making the patella more stable and will not require surgery.

    Silky has weekly hydrotherapy sessions and alternates between the pool and the underwater treadmill; she also has regular sessions with the physiotherapist.

    Keep up the good work Silky!

  • September - 2017 - Lara Blackburn
    Lara Blackburn



    Lara is a 5 year old Standard Poodle who was referred to Aquavet following cruciate surgery. Lara had a procedure called a T.P.L.O on her left stifle. T.P.L.O is a Tibial plateau levelling osteotomy and which is making curved cut to the top of the shin bone (osteotomy) up the Tibial plateau  (top of the tibia) and then rotated along the curved osteotomy in order to level the slope. Plate and screws are used to hold the Tibial plateau in place so the bone can heal in its new position. This is done in place of the cruciate ligament that has ruptured to stabilise the stifle.

    Lara did really well after her operation and just needed to build up the muscle again. She took the underwater treadmill incredibly well considering Lara is blind! She unfortunately went blind last year. This happened gradually over a couple of days due to a rare condition. Lara copes really well at home due to the wonderful care and patience of her owner. Lara has now transferred into the pool which she loves! Her owner is very happy to see her in the water again as she is unable to go in as much on her walks.

    Well Done LARA!

  • August - 2017 - Duke Long
    Duke Long

    SWIMMER OF THE MONTH - August 2017

    Duke Long

    Duke was a 12 year old Border Terrier who has swum at Aquavet with his brothers and sister, Charlie, Louis, Elvis and Ella since March 2016. Charlie started before this following an injury for which we rehabilitated him. Soon after this Duke, Louis and Ella started to swim for fun. They all thoroughly enjoy their sessions getting very excited and trying to kill all the squeaks in the toys. Sadly Ella passed away earlier this year which is when Elvis joined the family ( a cocker spaniel) who took to the pool immediately. It is with great sadness that Duke has now joined his sister over the rainbow, but we all have the memories of his happy splashy days.

    Well Done to You ALL!!

  • July - 2017 - Riley Colbeck
    Riley Colbeck

    Here we have 3 year old Riley, a chocolate Labrador who first came to Aquavet in May 2016. Riley has elbow dysplasia and came to us after having his left cruciate ligament repaired using the TTA (Tibial tuberosity advancement) technique. This uses an implant to stabilise the stifle (knee). Later the same year Riley unfortunately had another setback and had a luxating patella on the same leg. This was stabilised using a Ridgestop, which is another implant that works by stopping the patella ligament from slipping out the trochlear groove. Riley also has had his right cruciate ligament repaired using a titanium Orthofoam wedge, which is similar to how he had the left cruciate ligament repaired.

    We first treated Riley in the treadmill to reduce the risk of causing any further injury as it’s a more controlled form of exercise. After quite a long period of time on the treadmill, Riley was stable and had improved his muscle tone enough to be transferred to the hydrotherapy pool. This is helping improve his muscle further and build his core strength. Riley has taken to the pool like a duck to water and really enjoys his swim. Riley is a lovely dog and has taken all these complications in his stride and has that get up and go attitude to life.


  • June - 2017 - Harvey Checkley
    Harvey Checkley

    Harvey is a 13 year old Golden Retriever. He comes to Aquavet with arthritis in both hind limbs, crepitus (crunching) in both carpus (wrists) and spinal stenosis. Harvey first came to us in July 2014. His spinal stenosis means the nerves from his spine are being crushed which results in him knuckling his hind paws. To alleviate this Harvey wears a harness with therabands ( big elastic bands) attached from the harness to his paws which lifts his paws as he walks therefore preventing him from knuckling. Harvey sees both a chiropractor and Sarah, our physiotherapist. One week we treat him in the treadmill and the other in the pool. This gives Harvey the best results of maintaining both his muscle mass and gait pattern. Harvey is a very laid back chap and will do anything for a treat! He can be a bit of a Mummy’s boy – following his owner Debbie everywhere. Harvey also has a younger brother at home – Enzo – who is not a fan of water!!

    Well Done HARVEY

    Keep Up The Good Work.

  • May - 2017 - Mallow & Rowan Pike
    Mallow & Rowan Pike



    Meet Mallow and Rowan.

    Mallow is a 1 year old Springer Spaniel x Labrador who comes to Aquavet because he has elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia. Mallow has had an arthroscopy in both elbows and had a Proximal Abducting Ulnar Osteotomy last year. This is where the bone is cut to move the weight bearing forces from the damaged part of the joint to the healthy outer part of the joint.

    Mallow has physiotherapy once a month and has hydrotherapy weekly as it is non weight bearing and good for both his elbow joints and his hip joints.

    Rowan is a 7 year old chocolate Labrador who swims after his brother for fun. He loves to make a splash and we have mops at the ready when Rowan is swimming.



  • March - 2017 - Rastas Leeman
    Rastas Leeman

    This is the lovely cheeky chap Rastas.

    He has been coming to Aquavet for just over 4 months now. He came with multiple issues with his hind limbs, including bilateral hind limb lameness, which was worse on his right. This could have been because he was diagnosed with medial patella luxation, osteoarthritis and had a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament, all on the right stifle joint. Rastas also has osteoarthritis in the left stifle and to a mild degree in both of his hips.

    He started off by having physiotherapy with Sarah Edge and was given a home exercise plan to follow. Then he went on the underwater treadmill because this is more controlled so Rastas didn’t cause anymore issues. Rastas did really well on the treadmill and loved to walk for his favourite squeaky red ball.

    Now Rastas is stable enough to go in the pool and is really enjoying his swims, for his squeaky red ball of course!! He is now doing really well.

    Well Done Rastas!!!

  • February - 2017 - Holly & Ralph Bowen
    Holly & Ralph Bowen

    Meet the lovely Holly and Ralph.

    Holly is a 10 year old Collie x Retriever who has been coming to Aquavet for nearly 3 years. She swims every fortnight with her brother, as she can be intermittently lame on her left fore and it also helps her joints as she ages. If Holly sees you with a treat she will most certainly swim towards you!

    Now here’s Ralph. Ralph is a 2 year old Golden Retriever, who first came to Aquavet as an 8 week puppy to watch his sister swim. Soon after this he started swimming for fun.

    Ralph has also been diagnosed with mild hip dysplasia, mainly on his right hip. However because he has been having hydrotherapy since a puppy, he has built up enough muscle to protect his hips so it doesn’t give him any problems and he isn’t on any pain relief, but his owner Louise is aware of this. Ralph takes full advantage of his “fun” swim and likes to make a splash!!

    Well Done Holly & Ralph!

  • January - 2017 - Millie Thearle
    Millie Thearle

    Millie is a 9 year old black Labrador who first came to Aquavet 16/11/16. Her owner was very distressed as Millie was non ambulatory with degenerative joint disease (arthritis). It was difficult to determine if this was the only cause for Millie to not walk but without a lot of invasive investigations this was unknown. Mr. Thearle approached us to ask if there was anything we could do to help Millie. As always, we do not have a crystal ball nor are we able to make promises, but what we will always do is our best. Millie commenced an intensive programme of physiotherapy with Sarah Edge and hydrotherapy with us. At the beginning of December Millie had started to make an effort to sit up. With a lot of support she could walk. Millie can now walk unaided but should still be assisted with a hind harness to take some of her weight and protect her spine from further injury. We would all like to take the credit for Millie’s miraculous recovery, we are not entirely sure how this has come about, but we are delighted that it has.

    Well Done Millie!

    Keep Up The Good Work.