Willie Under Water . . . Well, sort of.

Good news, bad news (as always in life, right?)

Willie had his first session in the underwater treadmill with Courtney Arnoldy at UW – Madison. He did super well, given how sound sensitive he is. I wish I had a video of him when the water first began to flow. His face was hysterical — honestly, as empathetic as I am to Willie (and if anything we are co-dependent), it was impossible not to laugh. He didn’t look terribly afraid, just a bit anxious but mostly confused and should I say it? — appalled at the rising water. The water flows in from the bottom, so first his feet got wet, then the water level slowly rose to above his shoulder. He reacted by raising his left paw higher and higher so that he kept at least one paw above the water. The look on his face was reminiscent of someone trying to avoid something that they found disgusting. I imagine that if he could have spoken he would have said EWWWW. I had to put my hand over my mouth to keep from laughing out loud.

This video is after he had already done 4 minutes total. It was his first time in the water AND with the treadmill on, so Courtney wisely kept the speed very slow. After his 4 minutes, Courtney stopped the treadmill, and then started it up again just to get the video so that we could compare how he is using his left leg now and in the future. What’s especially interesting is the very obvious difference between the use of his right foreleg/shoulder and his left one (the injured one). See how he raises his left leg higher and has a shorter and somewhat jerkier stride than on the right? This is barely visible (even to Courtney) when he is walking regularly, but as soon as you put him underwater it is exaggerated and makes it so clear how far he has to go in his rehab.

I’d love to hear from others of you who have had dogs in rehab underwater treadmills. Did your dogs react to the water rising in a way similar to Willie’s? Any water dogs out there who began to play, or are most dogs so surprised at “the water from nowhere” that they react like Willie?

The not-so-good news is that Courtney wants us to wait to let him off leash until after we get back from Scotland. Just one tiny movement in the wrong direction, in a split second, could destroy everything we’ve worked for, so as excited as I was to think of him off-leash (even in the Hobbles) in 3 weeks, it was a no-brainer. Willie has been severely restricted since the injury in February, we don’t even know yet how much he’ll be able to recover, and once you’ve got 6 months in already, what’s another 3 weeks! So we’ll wait until we’re back from Scotland to let him have some freedom. Then he’ll be in Hobbles for 4-6 weeks… so by mid-November we should be celebrating for real!

Here’s a little bit more of summer:

 

Comments

  1. says

    I really feel for you Trish, when my Cooper tore his cruciate I felt like the world had ended and it would change out life forever. But it turned out it was just a few months and now he is back to his crazy ball chasing again!We never did do the hydrotherapy, although we have a lady very near us that has the treadmill… Cooper just recovered so quickly the vet decided he wouldn’t need the hydro treadmill to get him going. A blog I wrote just after it happened…. http://www.dancingdogs.co.nz/2010/06/the-dangers-of-sand/

    Oh by the way I recently linked your blog to the community page on my website to encourage my clients to read it:)

  2. Alexandra says

    My lab Copper had water treadmill therapy to work on his gait when he was about one and a half years old. He had a “loose” hip socket on one side while he was growing (it’s actually a lot better now that he’s matured and not at all dysplastic) and he wasn’t using that leg to it’s full range of motion; it was a subtle thing but quite noticeable if you looked. The rehab vet used the underwater treadmill as part of a program of other exercises to build muscle in the affected leg so that he’d be able to support the joint and move it properly. They also taught him to really engage those muscles in the affected leg and extend his gait normally. He went for therapy three days a week for three months, and I did exercises at home on the other days. It worked like a charm and he’s doing great now at age 4. Being a lab, I think you can probably guess that he LOVED the water treadmill. He thinks being in the water is just the most fabulous thing ever, and truly seems to enjoy having his fur wet.

  3. Margaret McLaughlin says

    One of my guide dog puppies fractured her shoulder running in the backyard on an icy night. She spent 5 weeks with her leg bound in a sling, & was functioning as a 3-legged dog with a dangling pretzel when the sling was removed. The owners of a local training facility generously offered her freebie swims weekly for several months. These are controlled swims, initially with a flotation device, & the ‘coach’s’ hand on the dog, but no treadmill. The underwater camera showed her using her leg in the water right from the beginning, & in 2 weeks she began to use it on land. She completely rebuilt the muscle mass, returned to the school on schedule, & graduated. I got a phone call from her blind partner 2 weeks ago, to say again what a wonderful guide she is, & how much they love her. Without the swimming I do not believe she would have been sound enough to work as a guide dog. Coincidentally, her name is Friday–she was my 13th puppy.

  4. Susan in Charleston says

    Wow. He’s really got a “hitch” in his step, doesn’t he? Reminds me of the grandpa on that old show “The Real McCoys” (and okay, I know I’m showing my age with that one). It’s really interesting that his movement is so easy to see underwater.

    Best wishes for his continued recovery. I know this course of treatment seems to be taking forever. One of my dogs is currently having to wear “the cone of shame” due to a leg surgery, and although it’s only been a month it feels much longer to both of us.

  5. Karen says

    There is a very noticeable difference in the leg movement. Willie keeps his left leg straighter and stiffer. I really admire your patience, Trisha, and the excellent care you have given Willie. This has been a very long road to recovery for Willie.

  6. Kim says

    My dog is at the end of 2 months in hobbles for a non-surgical shoulder injury. She discovered pretty quickly that running was actually no problem in her hobbles. And much to my horror, she also discovered that she could also do her regular “I’m-doing-mach 2-zoomies” in the yard. I found out pretty quickly that hobbles wouldn’t restrict my girl from running around and being her crazy, “if-it-ain’t-mach-2-it ain’t-worth-doing” self…it only shortened her stride while doing it. Hobbles won’t prevent Willie from “feeling free” once you take off the leash, especially if he’s been wearing them for awhile and is comfortable in them.

  7. Houndhill says

    Two of my Irish Wolfhounds have had regular physical therapy sessions on the underwater treadmill (one had a neurological issue with a rear leg following FCE, the other a lameness following Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever). I was surprised at how well they adapted to it, given that they did not generally like the water and neither would voluntarily enter a pond or other water. Of course, they were so tall they could look over the top, so they were not concerned about drowning! They behaved as if it were a bath, calm and resigned. They were kind of lazy about it and would “cheat” if they could, by putting their feet on the edge that wasn’t moving if they could.
    The FCE dog regained much function, but he cannot trot as a diagonal gait…instead he paces (lateral gait where both legs on each side move in parallel) We have tried everything (cavaletti, various exercises) but nothing worked. Wouldn’t you know, he is the best dog I ever bred! The RMSF dog also never came completely sound, though it is hard to detect, to the point where I would enter him in shows, but then in the ring it would show up. He also had chiropractic work, acupuncture, cold laser, and many other treatments.
    Both these guys are so delightful and charming, and both can gallop and are terrific companions. I come home from shows and tell them how much better they are than all the other dogs!

  8. Sylvia Teague says

    Yes! I remember the eyes getting big like saucers as the water started coming in. Then the look down as the treadmill started moving! The look was one of shock and then to me for help. A few treats over the glass and it became easier. That only happened the first two times he was on the treadmill. After that he actually enjoyed his workout (CCL injury) and looked forward to them. Could it have been the treats? He’s a corgi, so I think the answer is obvious!

    Good luck to Willie on his recovery, much more intense and longer than Timmy’s.

  9. Jennifer Hamilton says

    My Portuguese Water dog loves water, but is very leary of anything “medical”, given the 5 surgeries she had. So, while I suspect she normally would have enjoyed the treadmill, the presence of the veterinarian and/or her staff created a constant cloud of suspicion with respect to “what might come next”. After months and years of treadmill therapy, however, she did finally understand that nothing bad would follow. Once she realized that, she was all about business. She would walk in herself, wait for the door to close, wait for the water to rise, start walking, stop walking, wait for the water to empty, wait for the door to open, and wait for us to dry her off. If we got a bit chit chatty and did not perform each step at the correct time, she would bark once, telling us “let’s keep a move on things here, I want to get this over with”. She only used her very serious single request bark. She knew the timing of each step in the process and when we weren’t keeping pace, she always let us know.

    Inside the treadmill, my vet said she had the most serious “work” face she had ever seen on a dog. She said most dogs are either playful or fearful, but my dog was all about “getting the job done”. She would never take a treat inside the treadmill and she would never follow a toy…just walk or trot forward at the pace required…and bark once whenever us humans slowed the process

  10. Jennifer Hamilton says

    For anyone out there that is struggling through orthopedic injury with their dog, this video is of my dog after three hip replacements, one pelvic reconstruction, and one total hip removal. The dog in this video has an artificial right hip, metal plates holding her pelvis together, and no hip joint at all on the left side. Not only is she no longer in pain, but the underwater treadmill and physical therapy took her from being totally non-ambulatory (I had to carry her out to potty) to the point where she can run a low level agility course with ease and her tail up high. Although it can be a long journey, marred with ups and downs…it’s worth it to see a dog running again, pain free.

    Isabelle In Action
    http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=US#/watch?v=H19n-EOCgh0

  11. Ellen says

    Java had a hemilaminectomy in March and did water therapy a few times to try to get the movement to come back in her left hind leg. She hates the water – at home she’ll walk around puddles so she doesn’t get her feet wet. We also shot a video of her. Unfortunately the leg in question is against the wall of the treadmill. http://www.youtube.com/user/rgaimari?blend=21&ob=5#p/a/u/1/tLoZyGjWU9Y . She eventually got very clever and would position herself so that her left leg was on the side and she’d walk with the other three while keeping her left leg still.

    My best wishes for Willie’s continued recovery.

    -Ellen

  12. says

    Poor Willie! This is the reaction my Calvin would have. He will barrel in to the shoreline of a lake, but the minute you put him in the tub water becomes foreign!

    Jealous that you are headed to Scotland. If you run in to any members of the clan McKay, let us know. I have a friend here in Vegas who is a direct McKay…he has the Manu Forte tattooed on his arm!

    Have a good trip, and take your time with Willie. He still has YEARS to run off leash.

  13. Janice says

    Well, to change things up a bit–since we can’t ask our dogs exactly what they are feeling, I can tell you that I used an underwater treadmill for several months last spring when I was recovering from my second of two back surgeries that I have had in last three years. And I empathize with the concern that Willie must have had when the water came in–in the facility that I used, you walk out onto a platform and the PT lowers it into the water, so you descend into the pool with water bubbling up through the perforated treadmill. No matter that you are mentally prepared, it is still an odd sensation when the water swiftly rises. The other thing to know is that walking on the underwater treadmill isn’t the same as walking through the air with gravity. Since it has both buoyancy and resistance, you use slightly different reflexes that you have to learn as you are trying to balance and walk this new way. Plus you are not in control of the amount of forward movement needed–the treadmill dictates your pace and you have to adjust to it. It took me weeks to learn how to walk in the pool in a coordinated way and I imagine that with 4 legs, it might even be harder to coordinate than two. So the exaggerated movement that you showed in that film clip is likely partly the shoulder issues and partly, I would suspect, him trying to learn how to coordinate his movement in this strange new medium at the same time that he is compensating for the injury. (it also looked at one point like he was trying to step over the black strip on the treadmill which caused him to alter his gait). What else that I can tell you was that the water treadmill contributed tremendously to my recovery. In the pool treadmill, I could walk without needing canes for support and it was a delight to feel my muscles and stamina come back (although, it took several months). Of course, I understood the objectives, so tried hard to do what was needed. I loved the story by Jennifer how her dog got right down to business during his therapy sessions. What I can tell you is that for me, it was a total blessing and I hope that this is the case for Willie too.

  14. JJ says

    My Great Dane did the water treadmill after his second knee surgery.

    When I first got Duke at 3 years of age, he was very scared of any water. I could hold an entire hot dog over an inch of water in a baby pool and my food obsessed dog would treat the water like acid, literally jumping back when a single toe went into the water.

    Many months and many treats later, Duke was able to step into the baby pool with ease. And a couple years after that, he had his knee surgeries. I thought the treadmill could go either way. Would he freak out or take in stride? What about when the water went higher than he was comfortable with?

    Duke ended up treating it like he does any very large body of water. He shoved his whole head in and started drinking. I got video and you can see his head go under and his tongue come out. It’s funny.

    The other interesting thing to note is that Duke is so big, he barely fits in the area where he is suppose to walk. the physical therapist had to keep constant watch because if Duke went only slightly to either side or front or back, he would be standing on the non-moving rim part.

    Watching you hand treats over the rim brought back memories. Best of luck!! I’d be interested to find out if Willie gets used to the treadmill or if he keeps the same expression on his face every time.

  15. JJ says

    The other thing I remember about Duke’s first treadmill experience – the water had to go so high to get to Duke’s shoulder that no amount of pant rolling up could have prevented the vet from getting her pants wet.

  16. JJ says

    I just looked back at those old early videos of Duke on the treadmill. His expression looks miserable.

    Also, it was interesting how he would lift his legs up very high – like a horse doing a fancy prance for a competition.

  17. Beth says

    Oh the look of horror. I remember it well, and I have a water dog! My Lab AJ got the full treatment by Courtney each week for quite awhile after TPLO and then a meniscectomy 9 weeks later. AJ was restricted for 6 months before Courtney released us. AJ loves the water, but was terrified of the underwater treadmill so it was LOTS of treats, Courtney getting soaked, me getting soaked and AJ barking loud enough to hear throughout the whole Vet School. It was quite the adventure as life with AJ always is. Yet 6 months later when we were there to see Hem/Onc for a different issue, AJ saw Courtney and went crazy with joy at seeing her.

    I wasn’t as strong as you, I laughed out loud at my “kid” when her eyes were looking at me like what in the heck just happened. Poor Willie looks like he’s got a ways to go, but he’s getting there. One day at a time. One paw in front of the other.

    Stay strong. You’ll both get through this!

  18. Connie says

    Forgive me if you have already gone this route and I just missed the discussion of it, but have you tried any Structural Integration treatments for Willie? I am an SI practitioner for humans, and know there are folks out there for canines (the Joseph Freeman School in WA would be able to refer you). With my SI lens though, I can see where Willie’s stride is indeed short, both in extension and flexion of the shoulder. If Willie was human, I would be working to increase the fascial envelopes around his rotator cuff muscles, particularly the infraspinatus and triceps mm, and I would be looking closely for fascial adhesions between these muscles and the layers below them around his chest (ie pecs, esp in dogs since they have no clavicle) that would also continue to hinder his range of motion (because the adhesions cause the shoulder muscles to try to take the lower layers with them in movement). This fascial release concept is very different from ‘regular’ massage (softening muscle tension only) or strengthening (ie PT) approaches.

    I would guess you have tried it all though, so I hope he continues to improve. Thanks for sharing his stuggles (and yours) with us.

  19. Karen says

    I have had 2 Pyrenees mixes on the water treadmill at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, one for rehab and one for weightloss. Both of them took to it like ducks. They both had the WTH look on their face the first time, but after that it was the best thing ever!

  20. Julie says

    My Italian Greyhound is on the treadmill due to a rotator cuff injury. He doesn’t like water at all, but he’s so small that they can fill the tank and then lower him in.

    He had been walking on only his hind two legs, so they hold his back legs up so he will use the front two underwater. In that position, his head occasionally ducks under water and startles him, but when they put a floatie around his neck or a hand under his neck, he picks up his front two legs and just floats. Smart guy.

    Interestingly, they tried letting down his back legs recently, but he continued walking on only his front two, and letting the back two healthy legs float. It’s like a constant challenge to outhink him.

  21. trisha says

    I’m loving all these stories about dogs in water therapy. Have to admit the Italian Greyhound story made me laugh out loud. And who said sight hounds weren’t smart?

    To Connie, no I haven’t tried SI, it’s not something I don’t know much about. I’ll look into it, thanks for bringing it up. I am well familiar with the problems related to adhesions, so your comments make a lot of sense. I’ll talk to my PT about it tomorrow. One of the challenges for all of us with injured or ill dogs is trying to find where to put our energy… there are SO many things out there that we could try, right?

    I wish all of us with dogs in treadmills had videos of our dog’s faces! I’ll try to get one tomorrow of Willie’s send time in the tank. And fyi, just a note from W’s therapist. Swimming is GREAT exercises for some injuries and terrible for others. Courtney says that letting Willie swim right now would be an abject disaster… it all depends on how the shoulder has been injured and what it needs. So Willie is ready now for walking underwater, but not at all for swimming freely.

    And thanks Janice for your comments about your own experience. I think it can be invaluable to put ourselves in their place sometimes. I remember a friend who forced someone to ride in the trailer he used to haul around his dogs. After 1o miles he banged on the cab to stop the truck and spent the next week building a trailer that wasn’t a nightmare to ride in! It makes sense that walking underwater causes a different set of movements and muscles than walking in air. And when you think about it, it WOULD be weird to have water rise up around you. Imagine if you didn’t expect it? (And yeah that the therapy helped you! So good to hear that you are improved!)

    And

  22. says

    trish!

    that little will is such a sweetie pie. i just loved your description of his reaction, though i’m sorry to hear that willie’s movements must still be restricted a great deal.

    poor guy.

    well,
    theodore and i hope that his progress continues at a fast clip
    and that he is feeling hale and hearty sooner than expected!

    warmly,

    kimberly and theodore

  23. Chris Carney says

    Hi, Trisha–I have a 6 year old golden, Smooch, that had a medial shoulder injury (I’m still not sure how) along about last December and has been in rehab therapy since that time. First we just did exercises and ROM, but she just kept doing well then slipping back. So we went to water hydrotherapy and yep, even though she loves to swim in lakes, pools, oceans and whatever she’s been introduced to, when that 4th wall closed and the water came burbling up, she looked at me wide-eyed, but soon relaxed–UNTIL THE TREADMILL STARTED! Then I really got the big-eyed stare and the treats were flying, lol! She got to the point, tho, where she would run up to the tank, really eager to begin. The hydrotherapy went on for about 4 months; she wasn’t limping anymore, but she didn’t seem very strong/stable either, or as happy as she can be (you can really tell how Smooch feels physically by how much she smiles.) She began to slip again–I was soooo discouraged. Then last Monday night, I was talking to our rehab vet on the phone and I asked her if Smooch possibly could be relapsing because she likes to go under the bed (all my goldens have done this with no problems, same bed). She said it was possible if she was using her elbows and shoulder hard, so I put the xpen around my bed so she couldn’t go underneath and the next day she was noticeably stronger! It’s been over a week now and every day, just with the usual Zeel, hot compresses, massage, ROM exercises and some other exercises she’s been getting all along, I can see a real improvement–and a great big smile, too!! Obviously, I’m thrilled and hoping we finally have found the reason the rehab never really took as well as I thought it was going to. Hang in there, you’ll get there yet, I promise. It sure seems like forever though, that’s for sure.

  24. says

    This is quite old now, but Twila (RIP we miss her tough as nails former puppy mill breeding mom!) in her very first treadmill session, definitely a look of shock and surprise on her face: http://youtu.be/PGSEkEhqxqc
    Twi made tremendous progress in the few years she was with us…she would fluctuate with the tank – one week she busted it out and the next week she hated being there, but all of the work paid off. When she came to us she could not control her bowels or bladder. When she passed away this past winter, she was beginning to be able to stand, walk on her own. PT works mentally, physically, emotionally.

  25. says

    Sorry you have to wait longer than expected to let him go off leash. We had all sorts of problems with my Leah’s knee surgery, and I totally understand how frustrating it is to not be where you expected. Lucky you to have access to the water therapy thought. That is awesome!

  26. says

    While we don’t have an underwater treadmill, Wellsprings K9 (www.wellspringsk9.com) has a jetted pool where we swim dogs for a variety of reasons – recovery from surgery, support with degenerative issues, weight-loss to name a few. I tell owners often that while your dog might enjoy the water (like the lake or the beach) they might be a bit surprised at the pool – a big bath tub of sorts. Some dogs take 2-3 times to grow comfortable with the whole experience. Of course, some dogs take to it from the get go. I’ll be interested to hear if Willie’s “whale eyes” soften after a few sessions.

    What always really surprises the owners is when a dog is reluctant the first few times and then walks right in to the pool after that. As long as they know what to expect- that the routine doesn’t change too much too quickly- even the most reluctant dogs learn to relax and really enjoy the swim and massage. And for some, it’s all about the massage. They’ll do anything to get the massage — even swim if they aren’t so keen on it.

    While I have attempted to keep up with all the posts on Willie, I haven’t been able to. Is he receiving massage as well? I think that would be a truly important key to his rehab, in my humble opinion.

    Good luck, Willie. You’re going to make it through this!

  27. says

    My veterinarian offered a series of “Fun & Fitness” nights this past winter that would allow people to give the underwater treadmill a try. With the discounted price, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to introduce all three of my dogs to it, since you never do know when you might need it for rehabilitative purposes. In addition, it was a great energy release for them on an otherwise snowy, icy winter evening.

    I made a video of my border collie’s first experience: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImjPyGmgko0

    Secret did it a few times and seemed to really enjoy it. My Labx, Luke, always seemed to be nice & loose after his sessions. My little Alaskan Klee Kai went in once with his floaty vest on and with me in the tank with him and did better than I expected! Well enough that I trust he’ll be fine if he needs it for rehabilitation one day.

    I think they are a fantastic invention with too many uses to list. My vet’s kids even use it to “go swimming” in the winter. lol

  28. Kerry says

    Just had my first underwater treadmill session for my dog, Ayla, today. She could best be described as concerned and perplexed when the water started to rise. She also kept lifting one of her front legs in a bid to at least keep that one dry. Obciously this is just a guess but she started trying to lift them all and eventually seemed to settle on her right front leg as if she was thinking I can’t control much here but if I can just keep this leg dry, everything will be OK.

    She kept going to the back of the box and didn’t seem too interested in walking forward unless there weren’t any other options. I may bring in hot dogs for the next session to see if we can keep her more forward.

  29. heather says

    My girl, who was reported to be Aussie Shepherd/lab, but could pass for catahoula, LOVED her treadmill time. She usually took a toy with her. She ws the opposite of concerned about water coming in, she’d watch for it, concerned it wouldn’t come. She would actually look at the control box and the tech when it was time to increase/lower speed or water level through the routine. She’d splash and follow the water draining out of pipes.

    Really, the UWTM saved us so much in our recovery of 2 ACL tears that were 10 months apart when she wasn’t quite 2 for the first surgery. Abby reached a point that once we got there, she would head back and put herself in!! I was really lucky. First session, yeah, it was a what is this? but that quickly changed to a “I can swim and run at the same time!!” After so long of being forced to rest or walk gently everywhere after her TPLO knee surgery, she couldn’t get enough of it.

    like another person mentioned, we used the UWTM for winter conditioning and energy burn off.

    I’m fostering a border collie now who may have joint issues. I don’t know that he will be quite as enthralled with the whole thing.

    best of luck in continued recovery.

  30. Vicki Martin says

    Our 13-year-old who broke his leg when he was two (ugly twisting spiral fracture from climbing a fence) has developed arthritis in his hips legs and we tried him in water therapy in a tub almost identical to the one in your video. He’s been swimming his whole life so I figured it would be a no brainer but when the water started to rise and he realized he was trapped, he was clearly not a happy boy. Once it stopped filling and the treadmill started, he relaxed into it, but I was a little worried he was going to try to bolt out of the tub. I love water therapy and we swim our old man every chance we get. It’s great for his leg and hips and he bounces around like a much younger dog when he’s done.

  31. Alessandra says

    Joy, my wonderful JOY, Golden Retriever, 8 months, suspect Hips displasia, was reacting the same way at the very beginning, not to speak about the drier after (!). Then two, three times later, 20 min per session, she was simply JOYful at hearing the simple name “swimming-pool”, although she could not exactly swim, of course, but practicing without treats! almost no human help. (ok, she is a Retriever, after all!)
    We went on the full winter, and will go back next winter for the same training, one session, 20-30 min per session, per week. That’s why I asked for a “double room” with facing trimmers, one for Joy, one for me, and sun shining in our hair, like a wonderful Robert Redford sunset ………. !
    Cheers from HOT Italy

  32. says

    Courtney is a wonderful animal PT. You’re in good hands! She rehab-ed our year old husky-mix after he had some serious orthopedic surgery on his front leg. You can see a video of him and Courtney in the tank here: http://acengineeredknits.blogspot.com/2011/01/puppy-therapy.html.

    That was after he had done it a couple of times–the first time he was definitely concerned about the water starting to rise around him. He’s a high energy pup and Courtney told us later that she was initially dubious that he’d actually settle down enough to use the treadmill, but as soon as he got in there it was all business. He had to be lured with food or toys sometimes though, otherwise he’d just start riding it backwards (as you can see in the vid)! The water therapy did him a world of good.

  33. says

    My wheaten had knee surgery to fix his luxating patella at the end of May. When he was around 7 weeks post-op, we began rehab, as he had some muscle loss and wasn’t using the operated leg well. He would never get into the tub by himself but was happy and content once in. He doesn’t like to swim but will go in water up to his elbows. I was shocked to see that he was fine: he just stood there while the water got higher. At first, he was very uncertain about how to walk on the treadmill but using treats helped. By the second session, he got the hang of it and began cheating by standing on the edge. :P I made a blog about his recovery: Fergus and His Bum Knee

    He did four weekly sessions of hydrotherapy, and it helped tremendously. Now that it’s over 13 weeks post-op, he’s walking almost perfectly.

    Wishing you some improvement! I know how exhausting (physically and emotionally) dealing with all of this can be.

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