Hydrotherapy is helping dogs walk again

For many of us, our pets are part of our family and just like any other family member, pets deserve to be cared for and protected.  As a dog owner, you want to do what is right for your pet, especially if they get hurt.

A local kennel dipped into hydrotherapy to help rehabilitate man’s best friend.  Our Mychaela Bruner shows us how it works and how it is benefiting hurt dogs.

Rebecca Cassidy greets dogs like she would any human, but Pappy is not here to play. His owner, Marykay Washburn, brought him here for therapy.

"About two months ago he suffered nerve damage from a surgery and so we have what is now drop toe, he isn’t able to place his back rear leg," said Washburn.

"I filled up the hydrotherapy tank with water up to his chest, we have the life jacket on him, and the purpose of that is to lift him up, the water is really good for that because it takes the weight off their joints," said Cassidy.

Cassidy is using water to help Pappy learn how to walk again.

"When the toes drop like this, we want to be able to have the brain and the nerves to tell the body to flip it back correctly," said Cassidy.

Pappy has gone through 10 sessions of hydrotherapy.

"I take my hand under his toes and let him guide me as we are walking, we will slowly increase speed," said Cassidy.

This six month old pup is starting to show improvement.

"I can tell just in the few short months that I am making a difference. Seeing where this dog started, he was completely not able to lift it all, not we can place it some at home correctly," said Cassidy.

Washburn says she is thankful.

"We have two daughters and they refer to pappy as their four legged brother from another mother," said Washburn.

The two of them are helping man’s best friend, put one paw in front of the other.

"We just feel like we are getting out dog back, we do," said Washburn.

This type of therapy is pretty rare.  It is used to treat many conditions including arthritis, post-operative recovery, obesity and spinal injury.

Donna Collier and her husband Jeff Beach are proud of the work they have accomplished.

"We started hydrotherapy a year ago in January and it has really taken off fast. when we started out we were in the beginning stages of it, now we are getting referrals from St. Louis, Memphis, Louisville areas," said Collier.

When Cassidy started, she was doing about six hydrotherapy sessions a week.  Now she is doing a minimum of 25 a week.

For more information, click here. To visit Stone Creek Kennels Facebook page, click here.

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