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Daisy at ARC

Testimonial from Daisy’s Owner

Daisy is a Golden Retriever and is almost 4 years old.

When she was 2 she developed a problem with her immune system and we got very close to losing her.

For several months she was on various medications including steroids, which made her put on 10kg in under 4 months.  She got very sluggish and seemed very old before her time.  As she recovered, she was taken off the medication and it was time to help her lose the weight she had gained.  By the time she was 3, she had lost 6kg and we started to increase the intensity in her walking to try and lose the last few kg.  We noticed that a few times after her walks she was lame.  Following investigation by our vets, they found that she had severe hip dysplasia and arthritis in both hind legs and several operations were suggested as options including hip replacement.

As our other dog Samson had been doing so well on the underwater treadmill at Donaldsons, I agreed with our vet to see whether it could help Daisy, before going for surgery.  We visited Donaldsons and explained Daisy’s history and she was fully examined.  Rhona also got copies of the xrays from our vet to see how bad Daisy was.  From the xrays it looked like Daisy must have been in quite a lot of pain for some time, especially with the weight gain from her steroids the year before.  Daisy started on the underwater treadmill twice per week.  At first she could only take very short steps and could not extend her back legs fully.

Over the past 9 months the improvement in Daisy’s legs had been dramatic

She now alternates her training.  One week she’ll be walking fast on an incline, the next week she’ll be walking fast on the flat, but will have 1 minute intervals when she runs.  As a result Daisy’s shape has changed, she’s lost the fat from the steroids, she’s much leaner and now has significantly more muscle mass on her hind hips, which supports her.  Her entire personality has also changed as she must be in much less pain.  She can run and jump about as you would expect any other dog her age to do.  She’s full of life and plays vigorously with our other dogs and any other dogs she meets when we are out walking.  She is so happy and loves being on the treadmill, especially if she has an audience.  So far, Daisy’s improvement has been so good, that there is no plan to operate on her hips, thanks to the treatment Donaldsons have provided.