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Can I get some advice re our first hydro session please?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Owned By A Yellow Lab, Sep 5, 2013.


  1. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

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    I'm confused :confused:

    We just had Dex's first hydro session. The place we went to was highly recommended and my brother and SIL have been taking their dogs there for a while. The guy who runs it has been doing it for years and it has apparently helped his own dogs immensely.

    Now, I knew Dex would be nervous; he is scared of water. To my delight, he had no issue with going up to the side of the pool and peering in. But when the guy put the harness in and went into the pool with him, Dex was really unhappy. The guy told me that "many many" dogs panic the first time and thrash about and try to escape the pool. He said that usually by the second session the dogs are far calmer and they start to enjoy it.

    So he took Dex for two turns in the pool. However, on the second turn Dex was really distressed and I didn't feel comfortable - so I demanded that he bring Dex out.

    The guy then told me that I had to decide whether I was really going to go for the hydro or not and that it was no good me getting so upset. He said that because I'd insisted on Dex being brought out early, the session had been, well, pointless really.

    I politely responded that for a dog that has NEVER gone in water, Dex had now gone in TWICE and that while I knew the hydro was very important, I didn't want my dog distressed to the point of being ill or - worst case scenario - having a heart attack.

    He acknowledged this point and then told me that he had one client who is 'worse than you' re how distressed she and I both get :eek:

    I'm now confused - was I wrong to demand that the session be cut short??? I wasn't ruling out future sessions but I had to go on what I was seeing and my instincts at the time!
     
  2. bearcub

    bearcub PetForums VIP

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    Just my opinion as the owner of a dog who is scared of water. I don't think you were wrong to cut the session short. I would have done the exact same had Florence been distressed.

    There are instances where we have to put our dogs through immediate distress for their own good - hydrotherapy is not one of those.

    I would expect a qualified canine hydro therapist to be knowledgeable enough to know that 'flooding' (excuse the pun :rolleyes:) a dog in a situation they are simply not comfortable with is just not the way to go about it.

    Surely there are techniques that he could have utilised to ease Dex in at a gentle, more appropriate pace? Surely he's seen a dog respond in a similar way to Dex? After all, not all dogs are naturally comfortable in water.

    I think he was unduly rather rude to you as well. Another thing I'm sure he, as a qualified hydro therapist should know is that client's wishes need to be respected and concerns need to be addressed in a polite manner.

    I would not go back there myself to be honest, try and find yourself a hydro therapist who understands your dog's needs :)
     
  3. BessieDog

    BessieDog PetForums VIP

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    I don't know anything about hydro, or why Dexter needs it?

    I know it does some dogs good, and some enjoy it. I'm probably ignorant as I feel its the latest fad. There are probably better ways of a dog getting the exercise it needs unless its mobility is otherwise limited.

    So unless Dexter can't exercise any other way then I'd steer clear of hydro. To place a dog in water when he's never been in it before, with a stranger seems to me to be akin to mental torture for no benefit.

    I'd have been out of there a lot sooner.
     
  4. shirleystarr

    shirleystarr PetForums VIP

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    I think the guy was quite rude and he could have handled this in a different way
    To be honest I would have got him out too
    Is there any place near you that uses a water treadmill as the dog is not totally immersed in the water ?
    May be a better option
     
  5. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

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    Hydro is good for hip dysplasia.

    Not sure I'd call it a 'fad'.

    Our vet recommended hydro so it's not that I've simply gone there on a whim.
     
  6. 8tansox

    8tansox PetForums VIP

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    Why can't he go on an underwater treadmill? This is waaay more manageable; the depth of the water can be set, the speed of the treadmill can be set and can be stopped in an instant if the dog is showing any signs of stress.

    Personally I'd not let my dog in the pool if he was frightened of water, let alone out of his depth with a total stranger. Hindsight is a wonderful thing though, but I'd say if you can get to a treadmill, that's the way to go and build everything up - slowly, including his total trust in the owner of the pool.

    Fletcher's been having hydrotherapy now for about 3 months, we've taken him on a treadmill and built it up. He's been in the pool twice now with the lady who runs it, and I'm not going to say he loves it, but he certainly isn't worried about it, and will push himself off the side to go and retrieve his ball.
     
  7. SixStar

    SixStar Banned

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    To be honest, I think that is absolutely disgusting! Jake goes to hydro, and like Dexter he is scared of water (or rather he was, he's improved tenfold now) - with this in mind, he didn't get in the pool until the six or seventh session, not even getting a paw wet until the third!

    Up until then, it was just lots of desensitisation to the pool area and the staff, lots of fuss and baby steps - being dabbed with water and then progressing up to having him walk through a 'dip tray' - about three inches of water - to get him used to the sensation of water around his feet.

    I would be terrified of a breed prone to bloat such as Dexter being put through such enormous stress thrashing around in the water.

    I'd go elsewhere - ask your vet for references, and ensure the hydro pool is registered and licensed.
     
  8. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

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    Thanks guys - you've pretty much confirmed my feelings. I can't bear to ever see my boy that stressed again. I only went to this place because it was so highly recommended.

    I've been online and have found a place with a treadmill! Am going to look for a few other places too and then contact them all.

    The guy at the place today stated that 'most' dogs are frantically thrashing on the first session :confused::confused:
     
  9. 8tansox

    8tansox PetForums VIP

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    The bit in bold - no way, if it's done properly then they shouldn't be scared or thrashing about IMO.
     
  10. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

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    I also didn't like that he told me, categorically, that if I didn't push ahead with the hydro, then when he was older Dex would need a hip op :eek:

    I'm well aware of the problems that HD can involve but surely not even a vet can state that confidently what will happen when a dog is only 4? It's not like he'd watched Dex walk or run or anything!

    Having bit of a delayed reaction. Getting rather angry now with Hydro Guy :mad:
     
  11. 8tansox

    8tansox PetForums VIP

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    Don't get angry, it won't help, just don't take him back! Vote with your feet. :D
     
  12. BessieDog

    BessieDog PetForums VIP

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    Sorry, I didn't realise Dex had HD. :(
     
  13. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

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    No worries :)

    If it wasn't for the HD I wouldn't even be trying to get him into water, I'd just let him decide whether to enter the pools at Hampstead Heath when we visit.

    Thanks everyone for your advice :)
     
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