We had considered hydrotherapy in the past. Not sure why we kept kicking that can down the road, but it fell somewhere between ‘Nora is not a huge fan of water’ and we were busy with other vet appointments and treatments for both Nora and our cats. When our vet mentioned it again at Nora’s last checkup we finally got the ball rolling.
We found a veterinary clinic near us in Brooklyn that offered underwater treadmills and made an appointment. THAT was not a success. Due to the pandemic, we were not allowed in, and handing Nora over to strangers to introduce her to something so foreign was not exactly a recèpe for success. In hindsight I don’t think the underwater treadmill is the best option for a front leg amputee either.
We needed to find a place with a rehab pool for dogs, so we decided on ‘Water 4 Dogs’ in lower Manhattan. The facility is absolutely amazing, and the staff and vets really know what they’re doing and how to help dogs feel at ease, even if they’re not initially crazy about water.
Watching Nora’s first hydrotherapy session is something I’ll never forget! It didn’t take her long to start doggy paddling, and she was supported in the water both by a life vest and by a very skilled and caring rehabber. After her fist swim she was SO energized and happy. She was bouncing like a puppy all the way from the facility to the subway, with a huge smile on her face.
We’ve now had 4 swim sessions. Last session Nora swam all by herself (with a life vest on of course)!!
Water 4 Dogs also gave us natural anti-inflammatory supplements: Curcumin and Boswellia. Regular Rx anti-inflammatory drugs are great when needed, but they really take a toll on a dog’s liver and kidneys and should be used sparingly, so finding out there was a safe natural supplement option was intriguing.
As Nora has gotten older and arthritis has started getting more pronounced in addition to her IVDD, we’ve noticed her activity level has decreased noticeably. The combination of the swimming and the anti-inflammatory supplements have been absolutely incredible though and Nora is back to being as mobile as she was YEARS ago. We can hardly believe our own eyes seeing her back to running around playing with her friends during off leash hours at the local park and wanting to go for longer walks. We always have her stroller with us, so she can hop in when she needs to rest.
The ‘bitch-on-wheels mobile’ is still her favorite mode of transportation.
We are so proud of, and so madly in love with our little Persian Princess.
At age 8 she’s still going strong.
Attaching some links so you can watch her swim (AND run!) https://youtube.com/shorts/manvrTlXeaY?feature=share