Question: How many sessions will my dog require at La Paw Spa?
Answer: Well.. this is a loaded question… the answer to this one depends on about 20 different variables – maybe more. We first will want to discuss your situation with your veterinarian and come up with what our goals are for the work. Here are some examples of programs that have worked well with other dogs – and what we usually do is start slow, take notes and the answer to this question usually becomes clear as we go…
- Abbey, a young golden retriever with bilateral hip replacement came to the pool 6 weeks after surgery per her veterinary’s recommended schedule. At first she came for massage and light range of motion work then just a bit of swimming. She came twice weekly for about 8 weeks with the amount of swimming increasing very gradually each time. We kept in close contact, monitoring her post spa condition, trying to stay on that edge of doing some work but not doing too much. We worked hard to push her to her limit, but never beyond. Her owner was truly committed to getting the most that she could out of Abbey’s rehabilitation. By the end of 14 weeks, she was swimming against the resistance of the swim jets for the entire session. Abbey made a full recovery.
- Badger, a pitbull mix, came to me after his ACL surgery. He was using his leg nicely at 8 weeks in the slow leash walks that the vet had recommended so we introduced swimming at this time and began a slow program of just once per week to offer the resistance that swimming has to the joint. Badger made a full recovery in about 2 months.
- Jake, a lab diagnosed with an Anterior Cruciate Ligament tear, came in weekly to increase muscle support to his knee, hoping to avoid surgery. We put Jake on a muscle-building program weekly to build muscle surrounding the injured area. Jake is on a maintenance program for life in an effort to avoid surgery.
- Karma, a whippet with a severe nerve injury to her shoulder from running into a hidden stationary object, had been told that she would never run again, and in fact, that she might even lose her leg. As soon as the stitches were out from the muscle and skin tears that she suffered, Karma started coming to La Paw Spa. At first Cindy just worked on getting Karma used to the water. Then she worked on gentle range of motion to keep the muscles loose in the hope that they would not scar down from the serious bruising that Karma had suffered all over her body. Slowly, Cindy worked Karma up to swimming in the water and trying to use her leg, which was still fairly numb and limp. After about a month of spa visits, the benefit of her rehab plan was starting to show. Weekly spa visits combined with acupuncture, chiropractic, and an aggressive home physical therapy plan in between, helped Karma not only regain the use of her lifeless limb.. but after 16 months of rehab, Karma ran well enough to be awarded her Field Championship
- Laser, a retired racing greyhound simply likes to come to the spa for a refreshing massage. There is no limit on the amount of time that he can spend at the spa, and in fact, we think that he would choose to come every day if given the chance.
- Many older dogs come to the spa for the massage and range of motion work and light swimming – once a week or once every other week to keep limber and relaxed. The warm water massage, which helps stimulate circulation and relax muscles, keeps the dog’s body in an optimum state for their age. We also are able to talk during these sessions about other concerns and challenges and questions that come up.
- Some dogs (and perhaps it’s more for their people!) come weekly during the cold damp winter months only – and then not at all in the summer months.