Another good workout at the pool

This morning’s entry in Beanie’s busy appointment calendar read “10.30am Swimming at Glasgow Pets A&E”, so while I hustled our sleepy pup back out of our bed, Susan prepared that most essential Beagle swimming aid: liver.

The staff who are currently handling the swimming are doing a great job of really making Beanie work for her treats, and after a quick shower and harness fitting (no life jacket – she’s a big girl now!) it was straight down to business:

The nurse on pool duty today wasn’t familiar with the liver-enhanced swimming routine, so there was a brief stalling/sinking moment when Beanie got her treat before she’d reached the platform at the far end of the pool. You see, a Beagle will do anything for food (short of reciting the first act of Hamlet backwards), but once he or she has got that food, forget it!

After that little initial hiccup everything went well, and though Beanie didn’t get to battle the water jets today, she did some double and triple laps pf the pool and even had a few goes at swimming against light resistance applied to her harness.

By my reckoning that was her eighth swimming session. When she’s done ten she’ll be measured and we’ll get to see how the swimming has helped her development!

5 Replies to “Another good workout at the pool”

  1. Kathleen Macdonald(Mochuisle Beagles)

    Not only do they teach Beanie to swim but to count too – hence abacus in background what a clever girl she is lol!!!!!! Nollaig is going at 2pm on Thursday for consultation first – nurse said that their vet suggested maybe physio first but I would personally prefer swimming.Physio is £50 a time and my own vet gave me some physio to do ourselves with her – she is going to her own vet on Wednesday for check up anyway, see what they say. What do you think? Are you going to continue Beanie’s swimming after this block of 10?

  2. Paul Roberts Post author

    I think we will continue after the block of 10, though we may reduce the frequency (weekly at the mo’)

    It’s going to be hard to decide between the physio versus swimming.

    In the human world, a decent physiotherapist knows far more than the average GP about physical rehabilitation (we both know this from experience!) and this seems to be the A&E staff’s particular area of expertise.

    OTH, they play it very cautiously. Beanie’s first few swimming lessons were very (too) gentle, well below what she can handle. Only now are they stretching her so that she gets the most out of each session.

    Maybe play it this way: assume that they’re going to be overly cautious and try to talk them into going straight for the swimming. If they really feel that’s a bad idea you’ll hit a wall, if they think it’s up for debate then push harder for the swimming?

  3. Kathleen Macdonald(Mochuisle Beagles)

    Yeah the girl on phone said that vet thought physio just because it’s quite a fresh injury but according to my vet he thought a week after would be ok for swimming.Also I know that from my sister attending physio for her shoulder they showed her what exercises to do and she had to do them at least once daily herself at home to be effective. Now I don’t feel that once a week of physio would particularly benefit Nollaig and it’s neither practical nor affordable to take her more often than that, so perhaps maybe one session of physio in which we were shown exercises to do at home? Also from what I’ve read about slipped disc in dogs it’s particularly important to use physio if dog is paralysed to keep brain aware that there are hind legs there but that is not case with Nollaig she can stand/walk/even jump up on couch which she shouldn’t but she did before I could stop her.In her case I feel that her back and her back legs needs strengthening in order to support the spine better and to get full co-ordination back in her legs.Last night she was up on couch doing her exercises and whatever way she leant on her back she let out a little yelp-it’s such a shame as she is clearly in pain if she puts weight on a particular area of her back.I do agree Paul that perhaps they are maybe a little overcautious which I hope they’re not for Nollaig because for the price I’m paying(we must have been about £1000 in last month already between Nollaig and Spike and we can’t sustain that!) I want her to get the max benefit out of each half hour session to help her back to hopefully full fitness.Did you find they didn’t give Beanie the full half hour at start?

  4. Susan Westlake

    Hi Kathleen,

    It’s not the case that Beanie didn’t get her full half hour in the beginning. In fact, she probably got a little longer then than she does now. It’s just that they progressed cautiously – for example, they kept her in a life jacket for about 5 weeks although she was swimming without in the sea. And they gave her longer rests between laps than she needed. That kind of thing.

    But to be fair to them they don’t know Beanie the way we do, and they have to put safety first and assume that overdoing the exercise might do her harm. We appreciate that kind of caution at the end of the day.

    Now they know her well and realise that she’s very fit and confident they’re starting to really make her work hard. We think she would have thrived had they made her work harder from the outset but who knows….it might have put her off.

    I think your best bet might be to talk this over with them. Perhaps tell them you have a limited budget and want to get the best possible improvement for Nollaig as you can with the money available.

    But remember that if you go for physio you get more expertise than you will from the girls in the pool. You’re paying for a physio rather than a therapist. It might be worth having one session with the physio.

  5. Kathleen Macdonald(Mochuisle Beagles)

    Will talk it over first with the 2 vets that saw her last week as she is seeing them day before pet therapy anyway and see what they think(also they saw her at her worst).My old vet particularly will only advise something if he believes it will really benefit the dog and I know he has an open mind when it comes to hydrotherapy/physio etc Also think will phone Graeme again(Neil’s vet friend). The more opinions I get the better(particularly ones with no vested interest in her treatment), then I can make the best decision for Nollaig.

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