Category Archives: Case Study

Thor’s road to recovery

My Husky, Thor,  had a Fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE) on 22nd December 2018. He just came into the house from eating his dinner and just dropped at his feet, there was no warning signs, no yelps of pain. I was in shock as I have never seen this before and called the emergency Vets.

I then dropped to my feet as my local vets stated that they couldn’t help me and we were to be referred immediately to specialist Neurologist (For MRI to test for FCE, stroke slip disc or meningitis) Being the festive season nearest one available was a 2.5 hour drive away so off we went.

He saw a neurologist that day who booked him in for MRI scan Christmas Eve. From the MRI they confirmed that is was an FCE and that I could pick him up at take him home that night to have Christmas at home together to then start the road to recover with a referral to Physio centre.

What is FCE…I never knew of it or even something like this could happen…

(Rehabilitation of Fibrocartilaginous Embolism (FCE) As a non-surgical disease of the spinal cord, rehabilitation has a huge role to play in managing dogs diagnosed with FCE. … The level to which a patient is affected by the FCE will vary from dog to dog)

Being at 35KG dog and unable to support his right back leg so the vets gave me a sling and shoe boots to support and protect him going forward in his recovery.  This was a very intense tough two weeks for both of us . He needed support 24/7 so ended up with my bed in the living room so I could be there ready if he needed anything from going to the garden, water, food. I also had to ensure floor mats where all over the house to avoid slipping over on the tiles, blocking any stairs to avoid any accidents still to this day I keep it blocked just encase!  They also referred him for Physio and Hydro therapy.

At our Local Park and fellow neighbours mentioned they had great success with Canine Physio Hydro Centre at Bingham run by Pamela Marsh MSc, M.C.S.P.

We started in January this year and saw the changes to him with the physio within several weeks, you do also need to do this at home, Pam teaches you and I must admit it takes a while to build your confidence which, sometimes is very difficult to get him to relax, whereas Pam’s centre must have the right balance and calming affects bit like a spa as he always relaxes there!

After a month of physio we moved up to the Hydro Water treadmill which is a brilliant experience didn’t know this even existed for animals. I saw that after only a few sessions, he was able to walk better and for a longer period of time. I was thrilled at the changes in his recovery, which I did not expect would be so quick. I’m convinced that the water therapy really made a huge difference as we continue to go every week we see improvements thanks to Pam and her team.

Did you know “Hydrotherapy” means “water healing” in Greek, and dogs can benefit in the same way humans do.

I would say that recovery from FCE can be frustrating, and extremely exhausting at first, but it does get better. Every little milestone is a reason to celebrate


By Emily

Toby is a much brighter and happier dog

My 12 year old golden retriever Toby began to show signs of distress at the beginning of June 2018.  His back legs began ‘knuckling’ and giving way.  He needed to lie down continually when out for a walk and on one occasion I had to be helped by some kind passers by to get him back onto his feet.

We were worried that if this situation continued, we may lose him.

We visited our local vet who prescribed various medication. This was helpful, but he was still having difficulties. I returned to the vet and asked him to refer Toby to Pam for a consultation to see if he could be helped. He had been to her previously several years ago when he had undergone 2 separate cruciate operations.

An appointment was duly made, and Toby had a successful assessment with Pam. It was decided to put him through a course of water treadmill treatment to increase the muscle tone and strength in his back legs. Toby is ¾ of the way through his treatment and the change in him has been incredible. The muscle tone throughout his entire body has improved and he is able to manage his walks again. He is a much brighter and happier dog.

Pam’s care and expertise has given us hope that our faithful old boy will be with our family for some time to come.



Carley steps out

We love this picture.

It shows Carley using the incline feature of our underwater treadmill to work on her shoulders.

Case Study: Border Collie: Buddie

buddieBuddie is a very cheeky 10 year old border collie, always up to mischief and very active.

In August 2016 he had an accident whilst running down some sloped garden steps in the back garden and injured his back. He could not walk or even stand on his back legs. After an MRI scan it showed that he had spinal trauma and could only get around if I held him up with a sling under his back end.

Going from an extremely fit and happy dog he was very frustrated and unhappy at not being able to do the things he use to do. He risked hurting his back further by trying to do silly things thought boredom.

Hydrotherapy was suggested to me by the vets so Buddie could strengthen his muscles safely and still do exercise whilst being supported.

After searching the internet I found Pamela Marsh and contacted her for help and advice. After meeting Buddie Pamela give myself and Buddie some advice on ways to help Buddie to exercise safely at home to strengthen his back and legs. Pamela decided that the hydro therapy pool would be good for Buddie and he took to it straight away.

His mobility has returned and is back to his normal cheeky self, into everything and always up for a walk.

Pamela and her team are very patient and understanding. Now Buddie is feeling back to his normal, each visit Pamela knows to move any paperwork well away from the pool as Buddie seems to think it fun to splash in the pool and try and wet everyone and all the her paperwork.
by Julie Househam