The first appointment was DENIED! We went to the appointment, but something happened… either a misunderstanding or they ran out of time or…we’re not sure. But we weren’t able to do the water therapy. They did the evaluation, xrays, and some laser therapy, but there was no water entry.
But we went again this week, with the confirmation that water therapy was imminent. Hub drove us, my mom came along, and we stormed the water therapy castle. The facility has a large room with an above-ground type pool, rectangular in shape. There’s a wooden ramp going up from the floor to a platform. Next to the platform was a treadmill base (no sides or arms). There are straps and a hook on the ceiling, which I would guess are for safety reasons. Once the dog is on the treadmill and secure, one of the techs can push a button that slowly lowers the treadmill into the water–in Butthead’s case, just above her belly.
Our poor Butthead had no clue what was coming.
They took her back into the room and we were stuck watching through a window. A lot of the pictures are bad because of the glare (I’m going to try again at the next appointment), but I took dozens and dozens of them. So they got Butthead onto the treadmill and lowered it into the water…
The two techs spent time acclimating Butthead to the water. She seemed a little stressed as they were lowering the treadmill into the water, but I don’t blame her. She was on a grooming table at a Petco one time and the dumbass groomer wasn’t paying attention and she lowered the table without holding onto Butthead and Butthead freaked out and slipped and fell off the table sideways while her head was still in the grooming noose. It was all very traumatic (we were watching, so it was traumatic for us, too!), although physically Butthead was okay. Anyway, so that kind of movement is frightening for Butthead, but you can see the tech in the pool with her…he held onto her the whole time. Later, they put a life jacket on her and he held onto the life jacket while she was walking on the treadmill.
At one point, Butthead seemed annoyed and she pushed a couple of things (her leash and collar) off the ledge. The female tech just laughed and picked them back up. But a minute later, Butthead was trying to push the towel off the ledge! LOL
Butthead walked for eight minutes at 2 miles per hour. They stopped the treadmill and started unstrapping her life jacket so they could get her out of the pool.
Aaaaand out we go!
They were really happy with how Butthead did. No limping in the pool, no problems at all. Afterward, we took her home and she was sacked out for the rest of the day. She limped a little bit later in the evening, but otherwise she survived. The question is, will we be able to get her back into the car (and into the facility) next week!
The techs were awesome. You could see they were really enjoying their job, petting Butthead and encouraging her as she tried to figure out what the hell they wanted from her. In the end, I think Hub was more upset about the whole ordeal than Butthead was. I was busy trying to take pictures and from behind me I could hear him making noises like he was worried and unhappy. I kept telling him that Butthead was okay, but he seemed so distressed. My mother was laughing because I kept saying “She’s okay, she’s fine!” like I was comforting him (which I was!).
I took a short video, but it turned out really blurry because the camera kept focusing on the window and the reflections instead of the dog. I’ll try again at the next appointment…I read a little about how to get pictures through a window, so maybe they’ll be better.
That was our water therapy adventure. I saw on the rehab’s website that for some of the dogs, after their therapy they get to swim around in the pool as a reward, sometimes fetching a ball. It was adorable to watch the videos. I wish Butthead would do that, but I’m not sure how she’d react if they let her go into the swimming area.
If I can get video, I’ll post again after next week’s appointment!