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Shadow at Animal Rehabilitation Centre

Testimonial from Shadow’s Owner

On Friday 15th May when Shadow awoke his back legs were paralysed which I found really frightening.

I phoned the vets and was told to bring him in right away. He was examined immediately and I was told that he had something wrong with his spine, which I suspected. I was told that there was a vet in the practice, Rhona, who was particularly interested in spinal injuries. I came home and when Rhona had examined Shadow she phoned me to say that he would need an operation.

Rhona recommended a specialist veterinary hospital in Cheshire. He was taken there and examined and a decision was made to scan him and operate that same day. Shadow spent 2 weeks there recovering from what was a major operation. My son and I collected him and discovered that his legs were completely floppy which was even more frightening.

Shadow spent a further 2 weeks at the vets, having treatment and therapy with me visiting every day. Progress seemed to me to be quite slow but he seemed quite alert and also very happy as he loved (and still does) being the centre of attention. When he was first able to come home, I still had to take him back twice a day for therapy and to have his bladder emptied, but he could wag his tail!

The new hydrotherapy centre opened, so as well as the physiotherapy, Shadow was also going in the underwater treadmill every day (this is a dog who had previously hated water) and he really started to improve; the difference was noticeable almost every day. From the start he really enjoyed going for his treatment. He became able to put some weight on his back legs in the water and seemed to find it enjoyable. It was great when he could really walk in the treadmill, and he learned how to swim.

I can still remember how thrilled I was when I realised that he could actually walk

and when Rhona saw him she was just as happy. All the physiotherapy he was having also helped and you could see he was enjoying the feeling of independence and not having to be carried everywhere. He absolutely loves going to the vets and is always in a hurry to put on his coat.

Shadow can now run as well as walk and is enjoying life. He is a very stubborn dog and I think that that, together with all the hydrotherapy and physiotherapy has helped him. I think he will get withdrawal symptoms when he stops going to Birchencliffe and seeing all his friends there! He has proved wrong all the disbelievers who did not think that he would ever walk again. Many of my friends and relatives have admitted that they are surprised at how well he has done.

I cannot praise enough the loving care and attention he has received from all the staff at Donaldson’s.