Jump to content

Underwater Treadmill - What To Expect?


Guest gryhnd3
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest gryhnd3

For those of you that have used water therapy treadmill to help with arthritis or weak back end issues, what should I expect? Just stopped in the one vet's office in the area (45 min away) that has a treadmill and ending up making an appt for this Saturday. Concern is that our guy is quite skittish and not sure we are going to be able to get him in there/get him through it. He's not food motivated either. Think best thing will be to kind of pick him up and get him there before he has time to resist.

 

Did it help? How often did you go?

He's getting acupuncture treatements also, originally once a week, now he's up to every 4-5 weeks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our Toby was going for "water aroebics" and it did work to build muscle in his hind leg. The tub has a door in the back that opens and they walk the dog in. Our therapist was tall enough to stand astride Toby with her feet on the sides of the treadmill. The tub slowly fills with water and they let the dog get used to water before they turn on the treadmill. It starts slow and picks up pace based on his level. Toby was nervous the first time but then got used to it. I would stand in front of the tub and talk to him.

 

He did quickly learn that the sides of the tub do not move and he would be trotting along with the front legs and his two back ones would be up on the side totally still. The therapist has a mirror that shows her what is going on so whe would catch him cheating each time.

 

Toby went three times a week to start and then we went to two times. He did build up muscle in his leg but the nerve issue in his back continued to get worse. While his leg was stronger the brain still wasn't getting the message of what to do with this leg and he still couldn't stand on his own.

Mom to Bella, Trinity, Cricket, DB, Dabber and Sidewinder
As well as Gizmo, Miles, Pumba, Leo, Toby, Sugar, Smokey, Molly, Jasmine, Axel, Billy, Maggie-Mae, Duncan, Sam (MH King 2019), Bambi, Stella, Bay and "Gerty the cat" at the Bridge

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Greytdecals had a wonderful thread on her boy Alan's treadmill treatment. Alan had a stroke I believe, but he did very well. I'm posting the thread so you can see the videos. Alan is so cute! wub.gif

http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/173794-alan-is-making-amazing-progess/page__hl__treadmill

 

I'll be interested to see how your boy does because my old man could probably benefit from it as well.

gallery_7491_3326_2049.jpg

Deirdre with Conor (Daring Pocobueno), Keeva (Kiowa Mimi Mona), & kittehs Gemma & robthomas.

Our beloved angels Faolin & Liath, & kittehs Mona & Caesar. Remembering Bobby, Doc McCoy, & Chip McGrath.

"He feeds you, pets you, adores you, collects your poop in a bag. There's only one explanation: you are a hairy little god." Nick Galifinakis

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tried this once with Patrick (didn't continue for other reasons). It seemed to be the therapist getting in the water with him that calmed him down. I'm sure they will, but they should start with a really slow speed.

Beth, Petey (8 September 2018- ), and Faith (22 March 2019). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest gryhnd3

Tried this once with Patrick (didn't continue for other reasons). It seemed to be the therapist getting in the water with him that calmed him down. I'm sure they will, but they should start with a really slow speed.

 

Yes, I spoke about him at length with the office mgr, she said she will let them know what to expect so they'll be prepared they may need to get in there with him. She said they may also just get him used to it the first time, and not even turn the treadmill on, just have him in there w/ the water I guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest gryhnd3

Update (sorry, for the life of me I cannot edit the title, even though I read to use full post, not working for me).

 

The treadmill experience went great, much better than expected, until afterwards - he is now much worse off than he was before we went.

 

Treadmill was full surround glass with short, steep ramp, he went a few steps on the ramp and hesitated so I kind of just pushed him all the way in. Vet put a life vest on him to be on the safe side. She expected to only have him in there 3 minutes or so, since I had warned how skittish he is, but he seemed to be doing very well, even enjoying it, so she had him in there about 15 min. Very, very slow speed, I want to say 1.2 mph or something like that. He wouldn't walk the whole time, he'd let himself slip to the back and then we'd call him and he'd take a few steps forward.

 

Noticed he was not really using his right hind leg, and the foot even knuckled under once and vet had to reach in and straighten it. Vet had noticed when he was walking outside on the way to the treadmill that he dragged his left hind (drags but never knuckled under before when walking).

 

As soon as the water drained out, he couldn't stand up. Vet said she's done water aerobics before and you really do have wobbly legs after getting out of the water.

 

So rest of day Saturday, very wobbly. Sunday didn't seem any better and Monday and today, he can barely walk because both hind feet are knuckling under. Spoke to vet this morning, she said it sounds like there might be a disk problem and we should do xrays. IMO other tests (myelogram) are not options for him, he's almost 14 and has had bad reaction to anesthesia years ago.

 

Waiting to hear back from acup. vet, she has been the main vet seeing him lately. However, it is concerning me that he is not getting any better, very hard to get him in and out to the bathroom and today I had to baby-gate him into the carpeted bedroom as I can't watch him 24/7 and can't have him falling on the wood floor. Unfortunately he hates being shut up in a room.

 

Feel terrible that we did something to try to help him and it has made things a lot worse. I am trying to think positive that he is going to get better, but it's getting harder and harder to do as the day goes on, he is definitely no better and may even be a little worse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh I'm sorry it didn't help. sad.gif Maybe it was too long for him & he needs some extra time to recover. hope.gif

gallery_7491_3326_2049.jpg

Deirdre with Conor (Daring Pocobueno), Keeva (Kiowa Mimi Mona), & kittehs Gemma & robthomas.

Our beloved angels Faolin & Liath, & kittehs Mona & Caesar. Remembering Bobby, Doc McCoy, & Chip McGrath.

"He feeds you, pets you, adores you, collects your poop in a bag. There's only one explanation: you are a hairy little god." Nick Galifinakis

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest arlosmom

Kingfish went through water therapy and loved it. Although it didn't seem to help his problem a lot and he had other issues that prevented him from continuing. I thought it was a good thing. I have great pics but am unable to post them tonight. For some reason my computer is telling me that my photobucket is unsafe. It you want to see them pm me and I will email them to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest gryhnd3

Thanks. I am really getting worried now. The vet never called back today.

 

I could just take him in the car to our local vet 10 min away tomorrow morning (acup. vet is 45 min away), but I just don't feel really good about them, the one vet in this practice who I had liked and saw 99% of the time, moved out of state last year, I do not think the replacement is very good, not sure about the other two (owners), they are men, I do prefer to see a female, I think, I feel the men are very quick to say, oh it could be cancer, without doing more examination, I have had that happen a few times, where the female vets are like, no, it's not that, but the males are quicker to say that, that's been my experience anyway, and I don't need to be unnecessarily worried :(.

 

I really like the acup vet, and he has been to her office the most lately so I feel he is more comfortable there, and she knows him the best lately. But... a much shorter car ride would be a lot better for him. I'm also not sure if he should even have xrays, if he is up to it, because if the treatment would be no different, then it wouldn't matter, as I cannot do surgery/anything with anesthesia with him. I guess that if I cannot get a hold of her in the morning, then maybe I should just take him to see the local vet.

 

I feel he is getting worse, he is definitely not getting any better. He can maybe walk 10-20 steps or so before it just falls apart and he falls down. This morning I was able to get him down the doggie steps and out to the bathroom, but tonight my husband had to carry him. The treadmill vet said that if it was a disk problem, he would not be in pain, kind of tingling sensation. One good thing is that he is still eating normally. Per the treadmill vet's advice, I bumped his liquid Metacam back up to 60lb dose tonight (that is what he started on in Feb and per the acup vet, I had gradually decreased it, we were just going down to 45lb).

 

I just don't see how something as mild as being in the water, at an extremely low speed, for 15 min, could cause these problems, but I guess somehow it did. He had never walked knuckled over before, but I was just starting to see signs of it, a few times when his hind legs were weak/sinking, and I'd lift up his rear end, the foot would go under. This was just in the last few weeks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do know that working in the water is MUCH more difficult than working on land. The resistance of the water is what is sooo good for us,, it is also what makes it a Work Out!

 

Hopefully it is nothing more than sore muscles. How is your old man today?

:hope :hope

lorinda, mom to the ever revolving door of Foster greyhounds

Always in my heart: Teala (LC Sweet Dream) , Pepton, Darbee-Do (Hey Barb) , Rascal (Abitta Rascal), Power (Beyond the Power), and the miracle boy LAZER (2/21/14), Spirit (Bitter Almonds) 8/14

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you have a supportive harness for him? I got one from NCGS (linky). I think some others have recommended a Ruff Wear harness. That will give both of you a lot of help while he gets some time to recover.

 

I would wait for the vet you like & trust. Especially since you're not sure what's going on & it may be difficult to determine & also because he's so fragile at the moment. When my boy has had back problems, it's so stressful for both of us to get out to a vet & end up with no answers. I hope you hear from the acu vet today.

 

eta: have you seen this article on lumbosacral stenosis: linky? Just another thing to discuss with your vet.

Edited by sweetdogs

gallery_7491_3326_2049.jpg

Deirdre with Conor (Daring Pocobueno), Keeva (Kiowa Mimi Mona), & kittehs Gemma & robthomas.

Our beloved angels Faolin & Liath, & kittehs Mona & Caesar. Remembering Bobby, Doc McCoy, & Chip McGrath.

"He feeds you, pets you, adores you, collects your poop in a bag. There's only one explanation: you are a hairy little god." Nick Galifinakis

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The vet that has the underwater treadmill: is rehab his/her specialty? 15 minutes is way too long for the first session! Pablo & Huston started out at 5 minutes and they build up. Huston just did 9 min 50 sec.

 

Do you have a certified chiropractor close? Where do you live? Is there another acupuncture vet?

Diane & The Senior Gang

Burpdog Biscuits

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest MorganKonaAlex

As others have mentioned, it sounds like the problem may be LS. I don't think exercise helps LS. From the posts on GT, acupuncture and the depo shots seem to provide the best relief.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest gryhnd3

Thanks, all. sorry if there are typos in this, I have to open it in Chrome instead of regular Google to get the font box out of my way and just didn't take the time - he's outside resting and I can't see from this room.

 

He cannot walk at all today, well, maybe 5 steps in the bedroom and that is it. We did buy a support harness (ruffwear, someone recommended) and put it on this morning and hubby carried him out to do his business. Didn't work as he just can't support himself at all. Tried calling acup. vet again, she is out today, so just got him in the car to our regular vet. Took several xrays, said it is basically degenerative, of the spine, showed me a few that are narrowing - made me think of stenosis. She doesn't feel he is going to be able to walk again as is and said the only treatment to try would be high dose of steroids - I think she said IV. He had Metacam last night so we'd have to skip it tonight and then take him there tomorrow for the steroids.

 

I am thinking that sounds like the LS treatement, I will have to look it up when I can, though I have read it before, we had a female with it (never the knuckling under though or any incontinence with her, and we never tried the injections).

 

I am SOOO disappointed. She does not feel the treadmill was really the cause, though certainly something must have shifted or aggravated something, but in general, by her looking at these xrays, she feels this would have been happening pretty soon, I get the impression. I did take the xrays with me as was thinking of getting a 2nd opinion, but not sure I should bother, for one thing, the acup. vet is off today so could not do anything before tomorrow, and I think I need to be here to keep an eye on him. The tech told me that she is pretty sure that a 2nd vet in the office looked at the xrays also.

 

He has not peed yet, so she said if he doesn't go by end of day, I need to bring him back to vet so they can use catheter. She showed me how to try to massage it out, she tried in the office but he was too tense. Said it wasn't full bladder, but he hasn't gone since last night. He ate his breakfast normal.

Just having hard time understanding how this could come on so suddenly, or so it feels to me. Good thing is that he doesn't appear to be in any pain. She said there is quite a bit of inflammation, so when that goes down, then he could be in discomfort.

 

So...would you all try the steroid? It is hard as we have always said if they cannot walk outside to go to the bathroom, then it is time to let them go. Of course when that day comes...It is so hard to see him this way, as otherwise he feels fine, but it is so much worse today, he just can't get up/walk at all so bathroom is going to be a problem.

OTOH, if there is ever a time to try anything, it is now, I am unemployed so am home all day right now and hubby works from home so although he doesn't have a flexible schedule w/ work, he can at least carry him at lunchtime and before and after work if I can't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest MorganKonaAlex

The LS treatment is a steroid shot directly into the joint. If I understand correctly, your Vet is recommending high dose systemic steroid. That's different. Not all Vets will do the LS shot. Personally, I think I would try the LS shot. It didn't work for my Morgan but others have had luck with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest eaglflyt

I'm praying for you and your precious pup. Having dachshunds, we are very familiar with back problems ... hubby has also had numerous BIG back surgeries. Hopefully your pup will improve with rest, time, and medical treatment (meds). Hubby and all the dachshunds have improved greatly. Hugs and prayers for you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would try the LS treatment. It shouldn't hurt hurt, but again get a vet that's comfortable doing it. Some people have a fatalistic approach (it won't work, so no point in trying to do it right). Since the acu vet is good with needles & exact placement, she might be a better bet.

 

It is so hard to see them so weak. Best wishes & thoughts of strength for both of you.

gallery_7491_3326_2049.jpg

Deirdre with Conor (Daring Pocobueno), Keeva (Kiowa Mimi Mona), & kittehs Gemma & robthomas.

Our beloved angels Faolin & Liath, & kittehs Mona & Caesar. Remembering Bobby, Doc McCoy, & Chip McGrath.

"He feeds you, pets you, adores you, collects your poop in a bag. There's only one explanation: you are a hairy little god." Nick Galifinakis

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest gryhnd3

Thank you all so much for your kind thoughts and ideas.

 

Burpdog, thanks for reminding me about Grassmere. I have an appt tomorrow at 11am (she is off today) and will bring Derby and xrays then. It is good to get a 2nd opinion, especially from a vet who most likely treats more greys than the other vets in the area, especially if it is LS.

 

Morgan, thanks for the info about the difference in the shots. I was planning to look up the LS treatment and then call the local vet to see if that is what she had meant. If it's not, then that is another reason to get the 2nd opinion from Dr. Carol tomorrow.

 

Eaglflyt, when I asked the vet today whether she had seen recovery from the steroid injection, she said her experience had been with dachshunds, younger than Derby, different issues.

 

Well, we will skip his Metacam tonight, even though I hate to, but the vet had said that if we were going to try the steroid tomorrow, we needed to skip it tonight. So I will skip it regardless, in case Dr. Carol wants to do that or depo.

 

Our biggest immediate problem is him not peeing. I feel it is just because he cannot walk around in the yard for a minute to go, every other day he has been able to do that, including last night, but today he just has not been able to stand up, let alone walk, outside. Funny thing is, he has been moving around in the bedroom, I have him baby-gated in, and he did somehow go around the bed to the other side and then back again. But we've tried him outside twice now since coming home from the vet, this last time I sat out there with him for an hour. Twice he pushed himself into a sit, but then fell back down. Otherwise he acts like he feels fine, he is drinking, eating (I feed him about 6 small meals a day). I have tried the massage of the bladder area that the vet showed me, but no luck. She did say it wasn't full this morning, but he's had plenty of sips of water since then. It is very discouraging, I wouldn't care if he would just pee in his bed at this point, because they said we have to bring him back there before closing to use catheter on him if he doesn't go, so I've got about an hour or so left and I will have to take him back, which I hate to do as it is stressful for him. Also, I wonder if picking him up so much is hurting his back more. He just can't seem to stand out there, we have the harness on, plus a towel but nothing works, you are pretty much completely holding him up, my husband keeps saying it is like he is paralyzed :( Not sure it is quite that bad. The vet did get some reaction when she was examining his hind legs and toes, one side a little more than the other.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest gryhnd3

Well, this morning we decided that it was time to let him go.

 

Yesterday/last night he started to get what seemed to me to be very frustrated/agitated that he could not get up. He started yelping a bit (he will also do this yelp infrequently if he thinks you've left him alone in the house), he did not seem happy and he also did not seem to be able to get up and move, finally he did get up and move a few feet over to a bed.

 

I had to take him back to the vet around 5 yesterday for her to express his bladder since he didn't go. I'm sure he's not going because he can't get up and walk to go. She tried but he would not cooperate - she said it showed her that he is capable of going, so no malfunction there, but he was tensing up. So she had to use a catheter.

 

I found out that the treatment the vet was proposing was an IV of Dexamethesone and then Dexamethesone pills orally (I don't think she knows anything about the LS - depo medrol injection, which I'm sure is the case with other vets as well). I don't really get the impression that she feels this is going to work, it was more that she was saying this is what we could try to do, it wasn't really the first thing out of her mouth. I understand that by her looking at the xrays, she sees a lot of degenerative issues and that they are going to continue to get worse, and she could even see by the xray from last year that they were worse.

 

Anyway, he can't walk, his legs were just like jelly yesterday, he can't go to the bathroom properly, he is almost 14 y/o and does have major problem, so we had decided this morning not to try putting him through a treatment and going on like this for maybe another week (to see if treatment helps). I should mention that part of this decision was based on a conversation we had with an animal communicator this morning (I know some people are skeptics but we have talked to a few over the years and talked to this one about 6 months ago and I really felt that she was very good). She told us that Derby was ready to go, that he was in pain (which was a surprise to me as I didn't feel he was acting in pain at all), said not 24/7 but sharp pains in his spine. I won't go on about the whole conversation, but it convinced me to let him go today and not drag it out. My husband was able to get the afternoon off so he was going to spend some time with him and then we were going to take him to the vet later.

 

THEN, early this afternoon, I had left the bedroom he is in (off the living room) to get something, and on my walk back (this was just a minute), he was walking out into the living room. So he had gotten up, walked around the bed and through the bedroom and out into the living room. I did not see most of it, I'm sure it was not a good walk, and he did start to fall down in the living room. However, now it has made us question what we were deciding to do - I've never had this happen before :(

 

So I called the Nashville greyhound vet back (had cancelled this morning's appt) and got an appt for this evening. I think we just have to for peace of mind at this point. I do not want to prolong things for him, certainly not if he's in pain, and if there is only a slight chance of something helping, and life/walking might still be hard for him, and we end up in the same situation in a month or two, then I would rather let him go now.

 

When the communicator said he was in pain, I did give him 2 Tramadol this morning and he also had 2 last night. Normally he gets 1 at night and 1/2 in the morning. I also, because I thought our decision was final, gave him a dose of Metacam this morning to try to help him feel better today. So doing any steriod treatment today would, I assume, not be possible, if it comes up. This morning he was yelping every time I left the room, and sometimes even when I was in the room, seemed very upset, panting, etc. Right after I hung up with the communicator. A few hours later, he did end up peeing where he was lying and then he napped, so my husband and I wonder if the yelping today was frustration in not being able to get up and go to the bathroom. However, I am of course relieved and hope he emptied his bladder.

 

It is hard for me to have 2nd thoughts/change my mind as the communicator said so many things, that our female that we lost last year was anxiously waiting for him, that he said that if we do the steriods, it would shut down his kidneys so we might fix one problem but cause another (how would a dog know that, though?). My husband doesn't put as much stock into the communicator's conversation as I did.

 

So, we will see what the greyhound vet says tonight and go from there. Thanks so much for your prayers and thoughts. It is very hard to see your dog not being able to get up and walk. I had thought I was doing better when I was at the vet for the 2nd time that day, waiting for them to use the catheter, but as I watched the interior door open and dog after dog WALK out, I just started to get so depressed, thinking that my dog cannot walk out. But then, to my amazement, the door opened and Derby was standing there (not being carried) - albeit with two techs supporting him, one holding the harness and one holding the towel. I guess maybe they were getting tired of lifting big dogs that day, I don't know, but they held his back end up and he walked on his fronts. The back legs just dangled :(.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...