'Last year, our 2 year old Newfoundland, Bonnie, was diagnosed with severe double elbow dysplasia, and to a lesser degree, double hip dysplasia. As with giant breeds, she was susceptible to joint problems. Following major surgery on her elbows, which lasted for 5 ½ hours, and a period of rest and gentle healing, Bonnie finally landed at Vale Hydrotherapy, and came under the care of Emma.
It would be fair to say that we thought Bonnie would never walk or exercise to any great degree, and we had come to the conclusion that we would have to treat her as if she were geriatric. Unfortunately, in the weeks following surgery, it was not unusual for her legs to give way, and she would collapse on the ground.
The first swimming session was tiring for Bonnie, but Emma’s expertise and vast knowledge had determined the precise stage at which to commence Bonnie’s rehabilitation. Emma allowed Bonnie to develop her stamina and muscle strength. The effects of the hydrotherapy were fairly evident even from the first visit.
Bonnie’s treatment began weekly, with her health, muscle strength and stamina improving rapidly. Moreover, Bonnie loves her sessions in the pool. Despite, our best efforts, Bonnie will not consider playing with any toys in the water - obviously, she is there to swim and it is a very serious matter to her!
Bonnie now has been swimming for 9 months, and it has been wonderful to watch her go from strength to strength. After 5 months of weekly sessions, we finally felt she could manage fortnightly sessions with no detriment to her muscle strength.
Bonnie is now a completely different dog - her walks are now similar in duration and quality to that of her breed. And yes Emma, when she chases her ball, despite what you might think - she is as graceful as a gazelle!!!
Many, many thanks Emma for your experience, knowledge and friendship. Bonnie would not be the dog she is now if it wasn’t for you'.