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Buster’s Story


On the 1st August 2008 my beautiful chocolate Labrador Buster had an accident that would change his life forever.

He twisted and fell whilst playing football with my dad, let out a single cry and collapsed on the floor. My husband and I were at work that day so Mum and Dad rushed him to the vets with a suspected broken back.

I can remember the phone call from Mum so vividly; I thought poor Buster would not be with us long. The frantic journey to the vets that followed was horrific; I could barely drive or see for tears.

Our vets, The Wylie Veterinary Centre were amazing. They x-rayed him and found no break, but Buster could not walk or feel anything form the waist down. We were advised to rush him to Dick White Referrals in Cambridge for an MRI scan.

He was diagnosed with Ischomic Myelopathy, due to two degenerative disks in his spine. The disks were crumbling and had pinched the spinal cord. Although this was serious it was the lesser of a few evils.

Buster spent 2 weeks there where he was treated with a mix of Physiotherapy and Hydrotherapy. He was eventually allowed home when he could stand enough to get outside to the toilet. He was weak and any kind of activity exhausted him.

We were advised to take him to Hydrotherapy sessions twice a week for 6 months. A friend of mine recommended Hainault Hydrotherapy and from the minute we took him there I knew it was the right place for him.

Charlotte and the girls took so much care of him, making a fuss of him and putting us at ease, explaining what would happen and what to expect.

Buster only managed to swim for 1 minute on his first visit. He was scared and could barely make it up the ramp to the pool. I remember him sleeping the whole way home and was completely wiped out for the whole day afterwards.

Slowly over the next 6 months he got stronger and braver. His muscles grew and his swimming and walking improved. After the accident he was scared to be off the lead but his confidence soon started to come back and we could let him off for a short time each walk.

It’s now been 2 years since the accident and I truly believe the Hydro treatment has been a miracle cure for him. He still has a limp and will always take things a little slowly but he can walk, run, swim – pretty much everything any other dog can do. He’s now swimming for the maximum 20 minutes at a time and loves it so much we have to stop him running up the ramp to the pool!

I will never stop taking him to Hainault Hydrotherapy as it gives him and us so much pleasure and support.

I want to thank Charlotte, Lottie and Carly, for all the love and care they show Buster. Thank you all for giving Buster his life back.