Lilys Story - Nerve Damage & Fibrocartilaginous Embolism


Little Lilly Kerr has really been through the mill. She started swimming with us in January 2009 after a road traffic accident and suffered a brachial plexus avulsion (nerve damage) to her front right leg. Initially the hydrotherapy was intended to see if any function could be regained in the limb. The vet did advise at the time that due to the extent of her injury that this was unlikely to happen and if it did she probably wouldn't have full use back, however it was worth a try. It can take months for nerves to repair and the owners were absolutely besides themselves but wanted to give Lilly every chance possible to try and regain use of her limb so started intensive hydrotherapy and physiotherapy. After 3 months Lilly still had little control in her limb and mum and dad along with the vet, decided the best thing for Lilly was to amputate. Lilly recovered very well from such major surgery and the intense treatment she had already received helped her to recover quicker than normal.

After two and a half years Lilly collapsed while out walking. The owners said she looked like she had a stroke and rushed her to the Royal Veterinary College where she was diagnosed with Fibrocartilaginous Embolism (FCE). She was off her legs for 48 hrs and the vet advised that the best thing for Lilly was again intensive hydrotherapy and physiotherapy. Lilly started straight away and for the first few sessions only managed a couple of minutes in the pool, but being in a weightless environment she began to move and kick her legs out which was fantastic news. Being an amputee meant this hit Lilly harder than it would most dogs but swimming made her exercise easier and she began to get up on her feet very quickly. After 3 weeks of intensive hydrotherapy and physiotherapy Lilly bounced back yet again to her normal self, almost like nothing had ever happened. She was even enjoying her forest walks trying to catch the rabbits. Lilly continues weekly sessions to ensure she stays fit and that the rest of her body and muscle tone stays strong to help her cope with the extra burden she puts on her limbs being a tripod.

Lilly has been through the mill but is a lucky little girl to have such great owners who have stayed strong and positive throughout and put so much work into getting her better.

OWNER TESTIMONIAL - Lisa Kerr, Veterany Nurse

" We continue to take lilly to Hainault hydrotherapy to strengthen her remaining limbs, lilly runs and lives life to the full, but to keep her legs strong and able to support her weight she needs a way of doing a high amount of exercise with no impact on the joints, Hydrotherapy gives her that chance without putting any strain on her joints.

I can without hesitation recommend Hainault hydrotherapy, they have continued to improve the facility over the past few years including the addition of a treadmill and spa. They show the dogs such love and attention and I have found all the staff very supportive at such a traumatic time. We laughed, we cried but come out the other end together, I especially want to say a big thank you to Charlotte, I don't believe we could have done this without her help and support."