Star of the Month

To let everyone share in our excitement in their improvement, we thought we would highlight the great progress some animals
have made.

Heidi is an Alpaca

From Rescue to National Competition

My Buffalo's Back!

Back In The Show Ring

Over the Moon

Back in Perfect Balance

From ‘No Hope’ to Winning!

Life's a Canter for Trampus

A Brazilian Tapir's Bathroom Accident

But he’s not lame!

Miracle Achieved, 100%!

Nearly Put Down 2 Months Ago!

Mending Mabel

Getting the Measure of Tapeworm

Dedication Makes All the Difference!

Tara's Back-end is Back Again!

Sophie can Stand Again!

Vav Simon
(Mhairi Simon)

DC AMC FRCC
Clinical Director

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01983 566009




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Some of Our Success Stories

Missi’s got her Life Back Again!

“She's been a totally different dog, charging around everywhere with no ill effects” said Dave. “After everything that went wrong [an accident at home], it’s wonderful to be able to let her run without worrying. Thank you all who helped get her back on her feet.”

Missi is a young American Bulldog who was growing strongly and winning shows – healthy and happy. Always energetic and playful, she had a play-fight with another big dog whilst out for a walk in the forest one day. The two dogs went chest-to-chest on hind legs, and when they disengaged, Missi landed awkwardly. The ground was soft and one of her hind legs gave way and then she fell onto a tree-stump.

Dave saw that Missi was limping and after the vet recommended conservative management, he called Vav who had been recommended to him. The vet hoped that an operation would not be necessary. Vav found enough chiropractic problems in Missi’s pelvis to warrant treatment. She suggested that Missi try hydrotherapy to exercise the back-end.

Missi was very nervous of the water. In her first swim, she was pushing Alex (Senior Animal Therapist) out of the way immediately her feet hit the ramp in her hurry to get out! This is not surprising for this breed – the short nose makes them very wary of water. Alex encouraged her to relax in the pool and play. After some weeks she was confident enough to swim without control ropes and seemed to be getting stronger and fitter.

Dave and Judy went away on holiday feeling confident that Missi was on the mend. They arranged that she was only lead-walked to prevent her over-doing things. But on their return, Missi was so full of exuberance that after only 10 minutes on the beach, she had over-exerted and was limping seriously.

The vet said Missi had damaged her cruciate ligament, probably in that fall that twisted her hips as well. He operated to strengthen the ligament and advised calm for the next ten days at least. But again, she went too far and opened up the cut, suffering some internal bleeding so that her leg swelled up.

“It was a month of worry and frustration before the vet said that Missi was ready for hydrotherapy.” said Dave. “We were always conscious that she could bring on another set-back through her own excitability and strength. It was a relief to start her swimming, as it tired her out a bit and calmed her down. We brought her every week for nearly six months.”

Vav explained: “We had to take it slowly to prevent another accidental set-back. Every minute in the pool is equivalent to a mile of walking. But Missi was very unlikely to twist or jolt herself in the water as she could have done on land. So it was a safer and more controlled method of rebuilding her leg muscles and stretching her joints to bring her back to healthy movement. During that time, Missi rejected her stitches through her scar, one bit every week! So we were also checking her healing progress.”

Gradually, Alex introduced Missi to the Water Walker. Using the underwater moving belt, she aimed to get Missi weight-bearing on all four legs instead of favouring the healing one. To begin with, Missi tried to carry that leg while trotting in the Walker, but slowly she started to use the leg again.Missi jumps clear- just as she used to! After 5 sessions, she was trotting as well as ever. Later, she ended up so fit that she was also able to swim for 14 minutes in the pool!

Now Missi is back to her normal self – “It’s amazing” said Dave, “she wouldn’t be on all four legs if it hadn’t been for Vav and her team. Now she enjoys Agility, does shows again and is doing well in her Good Citizenship training. She’s got full use of her life again!”