Swimmers Disease

Poor puppy has come for physiotherapy for rehabilitation of a rare disease commonly known as "swimmers". Its termed as this as the puppies often look like they are trying to swim, due to the flattened shape of their chest.

Puppy fortunately had quite a mild form of this, that was only effecting her hind region. Having been diagnosed with "Swimmers" she came for a physiotherapy session. Puppy was able to walk, but the owner had noticed that she had started to lag behind in her development. Fortunately this owner had lots of veterinary help on hand and so was already doing many of the right things at home.

I set her up with some more exercises to do at home, designed to encourage her strength, ability to hold her hind limbs into the body, and improve her co-ordination. She also did some hydrotherapy. The owner was to do these exercises multiple times a day. We had to be careful not to do so much as to over exercise the puppy as she was only 5 weeks old at our first consult.

When I next saw the puppy she had improved greatly! She was catching up with her litter mates and was running and enjoying being a puppy. She still had some strength issues, and this was mostly showing when she was trying to climb over obstacles.  I set her another exercise that would encourage a movement called adduction. This is when you move a limb inwards, towards the body. This movement still needed strengthening.

Good news is that the owner thought she would struggle to find a suitable new home for her. This was all OK as she was happy to keep puppy anyway. But lady luck was shining on her, and she now has a new loving mum who is going to keep up her home exercise regime so she can make a full recovery.

If you need help with a "swimmers" puppy or know anyone else who does, then do contact us.