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Hydrotherapy question

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Owned By A Yellow Lab, Aug 29, 2013.


  1. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

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    I have been in touch with a reasonably local hydro place as I think it will help Dex's hip dysplasia and also many of you very kindly looked at his pic recently and suggested he could do with some muscle build- up :)

    My query is: any advice on helping Dex actually get into the pool - he's really scared of water :eek:

    The guy who runs the hydro apparently has a hoist - but knowing Dex this would be absolutely traumatic for him. I've worked so hard over the past three years to improve his confidence, I can't bear to do anything that might upset him, even though I really think the hydro will help.

    I thought that maybe if I take him along to just watch at first, perhaps seeing other dogs there having fun might help....?

    Any suggestions? Many thanks!
     
  2. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    Are there no walk in pools you could take him to?
     
  3. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    When I took Kilo there was a ramp down into the pool and I was allowed in to encourage him - he swims outside but wasn't keen at all on the hydro pool initially. At first the therapist did let his dog in to swim as he said it did encourage others, but the dog was really grabby for toys and I got bitten on the hand with lots of blood so his dog was put outside pronto!

    He was fine with a toy in his mouth but panicked a bit without one at first. By the end of his first swim though he had decided he liked it and would swim out to fetch a toy or just around no problem.
     
  4. bobbyw

    bobbyw PetForums Senior

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    Is it the water or the pool that Dex is terrified of?

    Dodger is terrified of having his paws off the ground and the one time he went in the pool (after weeks of desensitising) he panicked, it affected his heart rate, his gums went white etc.

    However the hydro we go to has a water treadmill which is ideal for Dodge and doesn't stress him out.
     
  5. Jugsmalone

    Jugsmalone PetForums VIP

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    I had the same worry about Coles not wanting to get in of his own accord but he was fine first time round. There was a ramp into the pool and i was encourgaed to walk around the pool and Coles was swimming following me around the pool..

    I think if Coles really had a choice he'd choose not to swim. He doesn't hate it, he just prefers to be able to stand in water.

    I hope the hydro goes well for Dexter. Keep us posted. :)

    ETA Coles isn't interested in the toys.
     
    #5 Jugsmalone, Aug 29, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  6. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

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    Thanks all.

    It's the actual water that I think he'll be scared of, he wouldn't go into the water at Hampstead Heath but eventually he edged in and got his feet wet, bless him.

    If there's a ramp that will help - here's hoping!

    DOGLESS - crikey, hopefully our first hydro session will be somewhat less eventful! :)

    Cheers JUGSMALONE :) We're due to go next Thursday hopefully!
     
  7. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    I am sure it will be. I was still charged full price - thought I might get a discount for being bitten :p :D.
     
  8. HLT93

    HLT93 PetForums Member

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    When mine first went to hydro we went so he could walk around the room, spend time in it to get acclimatised. The first session was really just getting him to go on the ramp, getting him relaxed and slowly getting him into the pool.

    Once in the pool it was very short sessions to not stress him out and make sure he was comfortable. Personally I don't like the hoists as the dog has no choice in the matter and it can be quite a shock, the ramp is a much nicer way even if it takes time.

    Mine uses lots of toys and encouragement and makes it really fun!
     
  9. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

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    Heck, they should have let you have that session for free!
     
  10. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    The one I used to take Joshua to had a ramp going up to the pool and another on the other side going into the water. The ramp was against the wall so it was easy to guide him along. For all he loved water, he did not much like the pool. I think it was because he couldn't touch the ground, but he never objected to going in.

    I have never heard of a labrador who didn't like water! If he is scared I would certainly let him watch a couple of sessions first.
     
  11. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

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    You have now :D

    I will definitely let Dex watch first, thanks :)
     
  12. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    I've swum most of my dogs at various hydrotherapy pools over the last 11.1/2 years.

    I'm sure Dex will be fine once he's been a couple of times.

    Most pools have a ramp going up and one going down into the water and the hydrotherapists know exactly how to encourage them.

    My Leafy went twice a week for about 6 months, following OCD at 8 months old. She was a nervous little dog but after a couple of sessions it was her favourite 'past-time'. So much so that all the girls from the grooming parlour would come in to watch her. She got very naughty and on more than one occasion jumped over the side, complete with collar and lead, before we could stop her.
     
  13. Kinjilabs

    Kinjilabs PetForums VIP

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    Ted absolutely hated water!! when he started Hydro we put the life jacket on and lifted him in, the pool he went to tho was a "human pool" not off the floor, he was terrified at first but soon got to like it:) he didnt actually swim but had to do the swimming movements to stay afloat, so he thought bless him;)

    But he did get used to it and after a while didnt panick at all, bet Dex will love it after a while, he's a LAB:D:D:D
     
  14. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

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    Thanks all :)


    Just had an email back from the hydro guy, telling me not to worry, he will be 'very gentle' with Dex as he knows some dogs are anxious at first.

    Maybe I will get in the pool with Dexter, if it helps reassure him :D
     
  15. 8tansox

    8tansox PetForums VIP

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    Fletcher's had months of hydro on the treadmill and we decided to put him into the pool a few weeks ago. He's been in a few times now and really isn't that happy with his paws not being on the bottom. He walks down a ramp, he's not hoisted in, that'd finish him off completely! We're going to alternate now, treadmill one week, pool the next.....

    He will swim out to get his ball but swims back very quickly to get back to the ramp. The Hydrotherapist is also in the water with him and he loves her so he has pushed off the side to get to her but he'd rather not, he'd rather just sit on the ramp with the ball in his mouth! I just LOVE watching him swim though.:D He won't swim in the river or even go out of his depth though - yet!:rolleyes:

    I know of two Labradors that HATE water.:shocked:
     
  16. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    You may be pleasantly surprised at how well he takes to it. I thought Flynn would be a real handful when he went for his first ever swim, knowing he's never been too keen on paddling pools or the hose. I was terrified he'd struggle and damage his hip replacements
    It was a pool with a ramp to get to the pool and another ramp down into the water and he walked in with Faye like he'd done it a thousand times before. Then once in he absolutely loved it :) and in the end he'd run into the water on his own and wait for Faye to get in.

    I don't know if hoisting is a good idea because the whole thing could then be even more scary for Dex, being lifted into the air plus the noise the hoist makes could upset him all the more, although I'm sure in time he'd get used to it. I couldn't take Flynn to my local hoist pool, he's not allowed to be hoisted with replacements - too much weight put on the hips according to Noel, so I had to drive an hour away to just past Chelmsford. It was worth the drive as the pool was much bigger and he could have a good swim, as opposed to just swimming against jets while being kept in the hoist. I was also allowed to go in with him, as I was in the other two pools I later took him to because unfortunately Doggie Paddles lease was denied and it had to be closed down.
    If you can find a pool with ramps that's not too far away I'd go for it because its so much more fun for them to actually swim freely around a large pool. Also if Dex is a bit of 'a ladies man' a female hydrotherapist may be a better idea. Flynn loved his auntie Faye and I was gutted he couldn't go to her anymore - still am! :(
     
  17. Leanne77

    Leanne77 PetForums VIP

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    The place I go just picks all my dogs up, pops them into the water and then follows them in. They use the hoist to lift them into the spa as that is raised quite high. When I saw it I was convinced that my dogs would go mental once they were being lifted off the floor, especially Flynn who is anxious at the best of times but they just hung in the air like nothing was happening at all so you could well be surprised at how Dex reacts in the hoist.

    Here is Jed being lifted:
    [​IMG]
     
  18. bobbyw

    bobbyw PetForums Senior

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    Can someone also let Dodge know that he's meant to like swimming as we were told he was a lab cross?

    To be fair I think it's the paws not being on the ground he has issue with, he hates it! Even the absolute fav foods will do nothing to encourage. Ah well.
     
  19. alison orrell

    alison orrell PetForums Newbie

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    Hi have you thought of taking him to physio and underwater treadmill treatment I take my Doberman. He does not like water but he has took to this without problems they are really good with him can highly recommend this my lad has Chronic Hip Arthritis in both hips and has built up 2 and half cms of muscle since we started obviously they need the muscle to help support the hips if you want any details I'd be glad to give you details. Good Luck
     
  20. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    Joshua unfortunately passed away :(.
     
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