We have two Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, Maisy 7 yrs. old and Molly 6 yrs. old. When Maisy was about 6 months old we began to suspect that she had problems with her hips. I asked our veterinarian about it and he seemed to think that she had knee problems. When she was about 3 we began to notice more serious problems. She would have trouble getting up and climbing the stairs. She could not jump into the car and needed to be carried up the stairs. We had x-rays taken of her hips and knees.
When we saw the vet he said “her hips are shot”. He went on to explain the problems with both hips, the various treatment options, which were 1. do nothing, 2. medicate, 3. surgery, of which there were two options. One was a complete hip replacement, or a “salvage” method where the ball is completely removed. He also suggested that we seek other opinions and suggested the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.
We made arrangements to take Maisy to the Veterinary Clinic at University of Guelph and on a snowy day in January 2009 we spent several hours at the clinic in Guelph. Two technicians and two veterinarians spent a total of 2 hours looking at the X-rays, examining Maisy and talking to us.
Their conclusion was that we should not consider surgery at that time. They felt that consistent, controlled exercise, along with medication and keeping her weight down should be sufficient at that point in time. In the discussion about exercise swimming was suggested as an excellent choice for her hips
During the following two years we noticed a slow, but steady decline in Maisy’s ability to do certain things. It was increasingly difficult for her to climb stairs, to stand up from a lying position, and she needed help to get into her “favorite” chair. There was also a noticeable loss of appetite. It was about this time, as if an answer to prayer, that we heard of K9 C.A.R.E. and their aquatic therapy and the wonderful results they have achieved with dogs with hip conditions similar to Maisy’s
We started Maisy in the program in early spring of 2012. Maisy was never a good swimmer and never willingly went in our pool, however with Bill’s gentle coaxing and positive reinforcement, she started swimming. After a couple of sessions Maisy was excited about going to “swim with Bill”.
She swam twice a week and after only a few weeks into the program we began to see positive results. Her energy level increased, her appetite returned to normal, and she seemed to genuinely be a happier dog.
We continued the twice per week regimen for three months and are now swimming once per week.
Maisy has shown tremendous improvement in agility and energy level. She has not been on pain medication for several months. She even willingly goes in our pool on occasion. She can climb the stairs on her own and even jumps into her favorite chair at any time.
Our veterinarian is impressed by how much her muscle tone has improved in her hind legs. We can’t say enough for Bill and Jill and their aquatic program and training methods. It is such a positive experience for Maisy, and us, each time we visit.
We thank you for helping Maisy lead a more pain free, happy life.
Sally, Bob, Maisy, & Molly