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

  • May - 2022 - Frodo



    May 2022



    Meet Frodo. He is an elderly gentleman of 14yrs. Frodo is a Jack Russell who suffers from Osteoarthritis affecting his Hips. He also has reduced proprioception (knowing where his paws are). Frodo started treatment on the underwater treadmill in February this year. He was very stiff in many of his joints and struggling to get around.

    Frodo’s mum has been amazing; she has made many changes to Frodo’s home environment to make his life more comfortable, including a custom ramp to get on the sofa, mats to prevent him slipping and a buggy to go out in. She also provides lots of enrichment such as snuffle mats and puzzle feeders. He still walks, but the buggy is there if he has enough.

    During Frodo’s time with us his anxiety has improved and he has got used to the treadmill. He is more comfortable and is making progress. He has even lifted his leg for a wee which he hasn’t done for years.




  • April - 2022 - Lula Mercer
    Lula Mercer

    Lula is an 8 year old miniature Dachshund, who in September 2020 unfortunately suffered from a prolapsed (slipped) disc in her spine, which compressed her spinal cord. This resulted in Lula not being able to stand because it had paralysed her from the waist down. As an emergency Lula underwent surgery called a hemi-laminectomy, where part of one side of the vertebrae is removed to allow the prolapsed disc material to be removed from the spinal canal. Once removed it relieves compression of the spinal cord and allows the recovery process to begin.

    It has been shown that rehabilitation following this type of surgery of initially physiotherapy, then both physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, can help to improve the speed of recovery and return to normal function.

    Following her surgery Lula was still unable to walk so began physiotherapy with one of our on-site Physiotherapist’s. After a few weeks of physiotherapy Lula was able to begin hydrotherapy on our underwater treadmill. The treadmill was the treatment plan chosen over pool because the moving belt would provide proprioception (feeling) input to her feet to help her know where she was placing them. Due to her proprioception being poor we could also provide guided facilitation to her hind-limbs to prevent her knuckling. The treadmill water depth could also be altered to allow more weight bearing through her hind-limbs to build strength and stability.

    Lula did extremely well and, although occasionally knuckling, had regained most normal function following months of hard work. Then in July 2021 unfortunately she suffered from another disc prolapse, in an area just above the previous surgery, and the whole event was repeated again. However, this prolapse was not as bad as the previous and Lula was able to walk the day following her surgery.

    Following regular physiotherapy and hydrotherapy treatment, and the dedication of Lula’s owner, Lula is now able to run in the sand again.



  • March - 2022 - Barney Wright
    Barney Wright

    Barney is an 8 year old black Labrador who unfortunately had his previous owner’s pass away placing him into a rescue centre for re-homing. Barney’s previous owner’s fed him on human food, and lots of it, leading him to become 55.5kg!!!

    The amazing news for Barney was that the owner who rescued him wanted him to have the best life possible, which meant him losing a significant amount of weight. It was upon a visit to the Vets that Barney was referred to hydrotherapy because of the weight preventing him from being able to walk for long. It was a struggle for him to just stand up!

    Fortunately Barney was referred to Aquavet, where one of the Registered Canine Hydrotherapist’s is also a registered Veterinary Nurse with further qualifications in Nutrition. This member of staff was able to devise a nutrition plan for Barney. The results due to the owner’s determination and compliance have been amazing, as you can see from the photographs.

    Barney took to the pool really well from day one because the non-weight bearing environment enabled him to move all his limbs fully with ease without causing any pain or damage to his over-loaded joints on land. His weekly pool swims since May 2021 alongside his nutrition plan mean Barney is now able to enjoy longer walks, has a better quality of life and continues on his weight loss journey.

    Massive congratulations to Barney and his amazing new owner!!

  • February - 2022 - Bella Pinkney
    Bella Pinkney

    Bella is a 7 year old Golden Cocker Spaniel. She was referred for treatment here at Aquavet following difficulties with getting up after being laid for a while, and showing signs of stiffness after exercise, which was diagnosed as suspected arthritis in her hind limbs. Bella was suffering not only with arthritis but lots of compensatory issues through her back as well as muscle and weight bearing asymmetries.

    Bella began treatment on the underwater treadmill initially before being moved to the pool (her favourite!), as well as a home physiotherapy programme. She has come on in leaps and bounds through both! Bella is significantly more comfortable, has developed a great core and is back to running around without suffering the consequences, later on.

    Bella is such a pleasure to treat and gets that excited you can hear her shouting to come in from the car park!

    Well done Bella! XX

  • January - 2022 - Jago Foulkes
    Jago Foulkes

    Jago is a 9 year old Labrador who was referred following a prolonged period of chronic lameness in his left front leg. Jago was diagnosed with osteoarthritis affecting his elbow, and he also had a very sore shoulder.

    Jago has been undergoing treatment on our underwater treadmill and received regular physiotherapy also. Initially, Jago was tentative about placing his left front leg down when walking, as he had spent some time having flare ups resulting in discomfort and causing him to lose a lot of confidence in walking on this leg. He has progressed fantastically throughout the course of his treatment - although with the occasional set back, and he is now much stronger and more confident when walking. He has gone from strength to strength with his hydrotherapy treatment in the treadmill. Jago still attends regularly, so that we can keep him as strong and mobile as possible. He is a pleasure to treat and always walks in with a wagging tail to greet us!


    Well done Jago – Good Boy!

  • December - 2021 - Layka

    Layka is a 2 year old French Bull Dog who began treatment here at Aquavet following surgery to correct a luxating patella (knee cap slipping) in her right hind limb; which is a common condition with this breed. She is the sweetest girl but was totally un-happy about the whole walking on a water treadmill thing! She has taken a lot of persuading with various types of treats and toys which has at times been difficult. Layka has move evasive techniques than we have seen in a while. Layka has also been undergoing physiotherapy treatment to help build muscle on this limb which has been affective. This is now alternated with hydrotherapy, physio one week and hydro the next. Chantelle, her owner, has had to work hard at home to encourage Layka to do the exercises required to build her muscle and improve joint function. AT LAST, perseverance is starting to pay off making the hydrotherapy more effective .




  • November - 2021 - Harvey Wood
    Harvey Wood

    Harvey is a 7 year old Border Collie who joined us in September 2020, following a total hip replacement earlier on that year on his left hind leg. Harvey suffered with chronic hip osteoarthritis. He was a very stoical boy, and the vets were quite amazed at how he could still walk and function the way he did with how bad the severity of his hips were on the x-rays. In March 2021 Harvey underwent surgery to have a total hip replacement on his other hind leg, and going by the success of the first surgery and rehabilitation we were confident in his recovery. However, Harvey became ‘not quite right’ soon after and his newly operated hip began to click consistently. He was straight back to the surgeons who discovered the implants had failed and unfortunately Harvey had to undergo further surgery to remove the implants and perform a femoral head and neck excision (some of you owners will be familiar with this surgery), as the shape of Harvey’s hip socket would not allow for another implant to be tried.

    Harvey began his treatment with us again on the underwater treadmill where he has always been the most compliant boy but always looked very sad. He has more recently had his first hydrotherapy pool session as he is progressing so well with his rehabilitation, and safe to say he had a blast! We had smiles all round and he was such a happy boy for the entire duration.


    Well done Harvey!

  • October - 2021 - Stewie Fields
    Stewie Fields

    Stewie is an 8year old yellow Labrador Retriever who came to us in January this year. Stewie has severe osteoarthritis in multiple joints, including the hips, stifles (knees), elbows and feet. He was referred to a specialist who was amazed that Stewie could even walk or function at all. Along with pain relief, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, it was recommended that his owner, Geoff, invested in a set of wheels to help support his weight, allowing him to exercise easily, maintain his muscle mass and mobility and reduce the amount of straining on his limbs.

    Sarah (physiotherapist) saw Stewie in December 2020, at this point he was only managing to a walk a painful 500 yards and sitting for the majority of this, where up until September 2020 Stewie would walk around 5 miles per day.

    Stewie’s human placed him on a diet with the help and advice from Joanne (our hydrotherapist with nutritional training) and commenced regular physiotherapy and weekly treadmill sessions. Along with his medication, Stewie has made remarkable progress and is now able to walk much further. Although osteoarthritis cannot be cured, it can be managed, and Stewie is a wonderful example of this. We look forward to his cheeky and chatty visits and of course, a good roll on the rug and towel dry after his session.

    Well done Stewie!

  • September - 2021 - Ben Rowbotham
    Ben Rowbotham

    Ben is a 14 years old Border Collie who began his treatment with us in January 2020 for help with his osteoarthritis, which affected his limbs and spine. Ben’s proprioception (the ability to know where his feet are in relation to the ground and space around them) has also been affected. Initially Ben needed help placing his feet in the underwater treadmill because he would knuckle his paws over with the inability to correct them. Slowly but surely this improved and eventually Ben was only requiring a small amount of support when walking. Unfortunately, due to COVID, Ben’s treatment was disturbed and since returning he has taken a few steps backwards and began to find his underwater treadmill treatment difficult, especially on his front legs as they take most of his weight now.

    We have since moved Ben over into the hydrotherapy pool where he is completely non-weight bearing and his limbs can move freely. Initially Ben didn’t like the idea and would completely avoid eye contact and even a treat! Over the course of a few sessions Ben has come round to the idea of swimming, most likely after starting to feel the benefits of his tiring legs, and he has since begun walking himself up the ramp to get in the pool! Ben is the type of dog who can be easily offended, especially when it involves a towel dry, but he has been the sweetest boy and very compliant during his sessions.

    Ben’s owners have also noticed a great difference since he was moved over to the pool and say he now even takes himself upstairs at home, something he has not done for years!



  • August - 2021 - Blue Marshall
    Blue Marshall

    Blue is a just turned 10 years young German Shephard Dog. He began his rehabilitation with us in March 2021, starting with physiotherapy by Loren Pearson, a member of our team who is both a qualified Veterinary Physiotherapist alongside being a registered Canine Hydrotherapist. Blue suffered with chronic severe arthritis but had suddenly become extremely weak on his hind-limbs resulting in hind-limb paresis (partial paralysis) and ataxia (loss of coordination) in a very short space of time. This led to the vets diagnosing Blue with Degenerative Myelopathy, a condition very common in German Shepherd’s which affects their spinal cord, subsequently resulting in progressive loss of function of the hind-limbs. After starting with a daily home exercise plan devised by Loren, Blue began his hydrotherapy treatment on our underwater treadmill. This was the treatment plan chosen to target his poor proprioception (not knowing where he is placing his feet); reduced hind-limb muscle mass; reduced strength and lack of stability. When we first met Blue he was reluctant to leave the house to go for walks because of how extremely exhausting and difficult he found it, he would even struggle to balance himself when toileting.

    Blue has taken to the underwater treadmill really well. Initially he needed lots of support in placing his feet because he was too weak, but slowly and surely he has improved significantly. Due to Blue’s improved balance, strength and coordination he is now able to toilet without falling over!!

    Following regular physiotherapy and hydrotherapy treatment, and the dedication of Blue’s owner to implement the home management and exercises, Blue is now very keen and excited to go for walks again. He especially loves going to the caravan, which is his favourite place to be!



  • July - 2021 - Henry Webster
    Henry Webster

    Henry is a handsome Golden Retriever who began his hydrotherapy treatment with us at 10 months of age in March 2021. It was following a walk off-lead which included lots of zoomies when Henry began to hold his right forelimb up. This did not settle and resulted in him having surgery to remove a bone fragment from his right elbow, where early onset of arthritis was also discovered.

    Due to Henry having not used his right forelimb to bear his weight, his muscle on that leg wasted and made it more difficult for him to use it correctly. In addition, the bone damage caused to his right elbow resulted in osteoarthritic bone remodelling in that joint. This made it painful for Henry to bend his right leg, resulting in reduced movement.

    Henry’s hydrotherapy treatment began in our underwater treadmill. The water level was above his elbow joint to allow the hydrostatic pressure created by the warm water to push blood and nutrients into the joint through increased circulation. The water level also reduced some of the weight taken from Henry’s body to encourage correct use of the leg when walking. This treatment was performed weekly until Henry had built his muscle back up and was able to use the forelimbs equally. In May 2021 this was achieved and Henry was transferred to the pool. Here Henry was a natural swimmer and absolutely adores this time going after a ball. Initially, Henry was petrified of the shower and would do his best to escape his pre and post-swim rinses, gradually over the weeks Henry has gained more and more confidence and now Jumps straight in the shower as fast as he can so he can get to the exciting part quicker!

    Henry is dream to treat and still has pool sessions with us but they are now fortnightly, as Henry’s owners have noticed a remarkable improvement and report that he is no longer displaying lameness during or after exercise.

    Well done Henry!! xx

  • June - 2021 - Lenny Reynolds
    Lenny Reynolds

    Lenny is a very friendly and large 7 year old Rottweiler who joined us in February 2021 following decompression surgery for two affected intervertebral discs in his neck. This condition is more commonly known as ‘Wobblers’ and does exactly that by making them have a wobbly gait. Lenny has also had knee surgery on both hind legs in the past and has subsequent arthritis. When we initially met Lenny he had very little stability when he was standing as well as walking, even short periods of time, as he was very weak.

    Lenny has been treated on the underwater treadmill as well as having physiotherapy treatment. We use the treadmill so that we can re-educate him to use his legs correctly whilst building up muscle and strength. Initially Lenny required lots of hands on support and had a delay in placing his hind limbs when walking. Over the course of his treatment this has become less and less.

    Lenny’s walking has improved tremendously both on the underwater treadmill and on dry land and he clearly feels better for it after his sessions as he bounces around like a giant puppy!

    Well done big guy!! xx