Tag Archives: Canine Physio-Hydro Centre

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.



Albert and Rufus ~ Brothers in Arms

Perhaps the only bonus of being unable to work for many years, has been that I have been able to have dogs. They have been a part of my life since I was a nipper within the family and later, having left the Royal Air Force in 1989. I am a lover of large dogs and it is probably fair to say that over the years they have got larger. Always marvellous Mental Health assistants & I would like to think that I have always done my best for them. For some reason I always seem to have wonky dogs as my family & friends call them. Dogs that would have had much shorter lives, had we not found each other, I have been told.

Albert & Rufus, despite my hopes, have followed in this unwanted tradition. The brothers were born October 1st, 2016. Four generations of learning were lost when Wilbur due to bone cancer was unable to pass it on. I had gone to Scotland to get him a pal, he was ready as Murphy had died in the July. Between arranging to go to Scotland and going, I lost Wilbur suddenly. I decided to travel anyway as the silence at home was deafening. They were six weeks old and all I did was watch them for a while. Then in a mad moment I said, I’ll have those two. I did not want to create what I had been trying to put right for Wilbur, by bringing just the one. I have always had dogs in pairs. Quite frankly, living with me can be quite boring sometimes and at least they have each other. They arrived here on November 26th, eight weeks old.

On July 4th, 2017, Rufus was diagnosed with chronic hip & elbow dysplasia. This was devastating, and I thought that he was lost. I have them both insured, but not to the extent that new hips could ever be a reality. When I saw my Vet Mr Davison with him following the diagnosis, I was soon to realise that he would not be lost at this time. Pain management was the way forward and in time, a really fulfilled life. When the pain was under control Hydrotherapy was suggested as the way forward. At this point I met Pam & now, Rufus is a new boy. He is healthier than he has ever been, all down to the Hydrotherapy he has been having for over a year now. Before, everything he did came at a painful price. Albert also has the Hip and elbow dysplasia but nowhere near the extent to which Rufus has & has also been introduced to Hydrotherapy. The brothers now play in the garden in such a way that I could only have imagined. We still have a way to go yet, but the next phase begins soon as they are two years old on October 1st and should have stopped growing, finally. They are a Giant Breed, but they are both very large. Rufus’s growth rate, extraordinarily so. It is like he has outgrown his skeleton, even to the extent that he has always had his tongue settled outside his mouth from the moment he got here. Rufus is also the calamitous one, if anything is going to happen, it has & does happen to him. Albert weighs in at 78.8 Kilograms, Rufus 91.4 Kilograms.

Despite everything I love them dearly & I would not be without them. They are truly brothers in arms. They have marvellous temperaments; love people and it’s is true when I say that their photographs have made it to many parts of the world. They enrich my life & I think it is fair to say that they do the same, to those who meet them.


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Lyra and squeaky Boris (the ball)

Lyra started her hydrotherapy sessions at the age of 7 months old. She was referred by our vets to Pam as she had an intermittent limp & stiffness, due to her bones in her front legs growing at different rates. We were advised that hydrotherapy sessions would help to build up her muscle strength & get Lyra using her legs in a better way so that she would not get sore & limp. Our family were hoping that hydrotherapy would do the trick & Lyra could exercise & walk normally without being in pain.  If you have ever have had the wonderful experience of owning a cockapoo puppy- restricting their exercise is not always great as they love being out & about saying hello to everyone & other dogs. I was also hoping that this approach would avoid the need for surgery.

On our first visit, we were booked in for a consultation, so that Pam could assess what treatment was needed, get to know Lyra & introduce Lyra to the equipment she would be using- namely the underwater treadmill.  Pam did a great job at putting Lyra at ease & making sure Lyra was confident to use the equipment. Lyra was very happy in her company, and cheekily spent some of her consultation appointment sitting on Pam’s scales.

When we came for our first hydrotherapy session- Lyra very happily came & did what she needed to do. There was plenty of tail wagging happening (& some sneaky water drinking in the treadmill). Lyra first had to get her legs showered down, have a harness put on, along with 2 leads. This was facilitated by Bridget- who Lyra immediately bonded with. It’s very clear that both these ladies/people (please use what you prefer) are both big dog lovers. Lyra willingly did her exercises in the underwater treadmill & quickly picked up when Bridget was starting or slowing down the treadmill. We enlisted the help of Lyra’s favourite squeaky pink ball- also known as Boris, to help motivate Lyra & keep her waking & pointing in the right direction. All went well with her first session & I think she really enjoyed herself & the attention she got. She had a very good sleep once we got back home- as despite not being on the treadmill for a really long time- it really tired Lyra out.

Lyra is now 8 months old, and has completed her first 4 weekly hydrotherapy sessions. She is still really enjoying it, and Boris the pink squeaky ball is not being used quite as much- Lyra has picked up on what to do very quickly. Pamela has done a great job on teaching her what to do & making Lyra feel confident in what she is doing. She really cares about her patients. Week 3 confused Lyra as she had to face the other way on the treadmill. Not only did she miss seeing Bridget- but she couldn’t gauge when Bridget was stopping or starting the treadmill.

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The great thing is, that she is also getting better. Lyra’s hydrotherapy sessions, along with Pamela’s advice on what to do at home & when walking with her, are making a big improvement to her limp & soreness. It’s really lovely to see that Lyra is getting better & better.  Fingers crossed that under Pamela’s care Lyra will continue to make great strides (excuse the pun!).


Bobo steps out

Pamela Marsh and everyone in her team have been nothing short of a miracle for my 7 year old Frenchie, Bobo. He’s had two different operations in two years and has really struggled. Now, thanks to his hydrotherapy, plus all the brilliant little things Pamela has advised we do at home, he’s well on his way to being fully fit again. I can’t thank her enough for all the time, effort and care she shows Bobo every single time she sees him. He loves going there, and always get’s so excited when we pull into the drive… even if his face tells a different story!



We have a new leaflet

An all new leaflet hot off the press. New cover stars, new information and old friends.

Pick yours up at your local vets or if for some reason they they don’t have theirs yet
call us on 01949 837 111 and we’ll send you one.

Carley waiting for her new leaflet.