In Patient Care

At Hainault Hydrotherapy we have a purpose built kennel situated just a short walk from the pool in which we can house dogs of all sizes for in patient care. This is often used for dogs that need intensive physiotherapy or hydrotherapy on a daily basis. This is useful for owners that work or would otherwise find it difficult to visit our centre on such a regular basis, it can also be less stressful for the dog not having to travel every day.

Merlin is a recent example of a patient that has benefited from inpatient care at Hainault Hydrotherapy:

I first saw Merlin Hillyer on 22 June 2012. I had been called out to do a house visit because he was unable to use his back legs and had been dragging himself along with his front legs. He had been treated a month earlier with a short course of anti-inflammatories for right hind lameness but soon after his medication ended, his condition had deteriorated until that morning when he had lost the use of his back legs.

At the first visit I suspected that Merlin had on going osteoarthritis which in combination with excessive weight gain and decreased exercise had led to severe muscle wasting in hind legs. I gave his owner the option of a trial on anti-inflammatory medication and hospitalisation or euthanasia as Merlin was that unable to even go out to use the toilet on his own.

His owner agreed to trial Merlin on medication but was aware that at this stage the prognosis was very poor. X-rays confirmed hip dysplasia with secondary osteoarthritis as well as evidence of lumbosacral instability. Despite receiving two different types of pain relief and intensive nursing which involved using a sling to support his weight to help him walk, Merlin showed only modest improvement after a week in hospital.

At this stage I spoke to his owners and discussed sending him to Hainault Hydrotherapy for more intensive physiotherapy and hydrotherapy which we could not provide at the hospital. Unfortunately the only other option available would be putting him to sleep. Throughout all of this Merlin was always happy and a lovely patient to deal with so all of us the Wylie Veterinary Centre really wanted him to have the best possible chance.

The next time I saw Merlin was on the 10th of August after he had been at Hainault Hydrotherapy for about 6 weeks. The progress he had made can only be described as miraculous. Merlin had gone from 34kg to 26kg, he had increased muscle mass in both back legs and was running around like a puppy again. He still is on anti-inflammatory medication daily and he needs to keep on a strict diet and exercise plan but this is much better than the other alternative...