K9HS Stories: Orla’s story

If anyone has an elderly dog with mobility problems and are worried it may be too old for hydrotherapy – don’t be! I have a Golden Retriever named Orla, who is thirteen and I would like to share my experience with you. At the age of eleven, Orla was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis, she had become unsteady and would trip over her own shadow. Her vet suggested hydrotherapy, so with a referral from the vet I contacted K9HS for an assessment.

Barbara Houlding’s expertise, knowledge and professionalism gave me total confidence. Having assessed Orla she knew immediately the treatment required and explained in depth how therapy in the pool and land based would help Orla’s mobility and quality of life. At no point was I under an illusion I would have my young active dog back but was assured Orla’s condition could be improved.

Orla’s first few sessions in the pool were hilarious! Never being in water to any degree she was terrified and clung to Barbara like a limpet (all 38.35 kilos or 84.37lbs). But with the therpaeuitc handling Barbara used, she overcame her fear and now cannot wait to get in the pool and is so reluctant to get out.

The change in Orla’s mobility has been really significant, from her ability to being able to sit, walk straight and stand whilst undertaking toileting. Alternate weeks to hydro, Orla has acupuncture which has been very successful, with this complete treatment package greatly enhancing Orla’s quality of life.

Barbara and her team are true professionals, dedicated to improving a dog’s quality of life and bringing out your pet’s potential to the full. Before making up your mind and thinking ‘it’s old age, nothing can be done’, I suggest an assessment is obtained. As Orla will testify – it’s worked for her.

Sally Lynch & Orla (Aldeburgh, Suffolk)