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Paralysed dog makes full recovery with pilates and paddleboarding
A once-paralysed pooch has got back on her paws after taking up pilates and paddleboarding.
“Tough” Pip, a seven-year-old Dachshund, endured years of pain and operations on her spine and neck after she was struck down with a condition that affects one in four sausage dogs – but she is now "chasing chickens" and playing.
Pip is enjoying a new lease of life thanks to a vet who introduced her to canine pilates sessions, wobble cushion therapy and even paddleboarding.
The plucky pooch has now made a full recovery as newly-strengthened muscles have improved her core and posture.
Delighted owner Joanna Day, 35, of Warwick, said: "She's a very happy, active and busy Dachshund.
"She lives with our other dog Ruby, who is a Springer Spaniel and before she had back troubles she used to go everywhere with her.
"She has intervertebral disc disease which is a breakdown of discs that separate the bones of the spine and it affects one in four Dachshunds.
"She has now had three episodes of spinal problems and had two spinal surgeries to treat ten discs so she's been through an awful lot.
"Pip has also been paralysed previously and the second time it happened she was rehabilitated with hydrotherapy.
"She's a very tough dog."
Joanna, a nurse, took Pip to Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in Solihull, West Midlands, after the dog relapsed last August.
After being treated with laser, massages and stretches, Pip has now fully recovered and goes paddleboarding to strengthen her back muscles.
Joanna added: "We are cautiously optimistic but she's back to her normal happy self.
"She can run around the garden and chase the chickens and do everything that she wants to do.
"We still do her physio and are careful with her rehab but she's made a remarkable recovery.
"I take her paddleboarding which seems to really help with her balance and she loves being out on the water with me.
Loyal dog waiting faithfully outside hospital as her beloved owner is treated
"If her story can cheer people up in these miserable times that's great.
"Everyone that meets her falls in love with her; she's just such a lovely little dog."
Veterinary physiotherapist Emma Box who treated Pip, said: "Pip was referred to Willows suffering from severe neck pain and was diagnosed with an intervertebral disc herniation following an MRI scan.
"This is a common condition that affects one in four Dachshunds.
"Pip's history of two spinal surgeries persuaded us that she should be treated conservatively rather than surgically this time.
"She was assessed at weekly physiotherapy sessions, which included treatments such as massage, laser therapy and passive stretches, and we also prescribed a personalised home exercise programme.
"Each exercise has a particular target and aimed to challenge Pip as she progressed, many of them were aimed at improving Pip's core strength, balance and posture, similar to Pilates exercises.
"One particular exercise involved Pip standing on a wobble cushion because adding varying degrees of instability into an easy posture, such as standing, activates the muscles in her core and spine making her work harder to stay balanced.
"She's now made a full recovery after four long months of commitment from her owners although we love seeing Pip back for her maintenance physiotherapy sessions, where we aim to keep her fit and do all we can to prevent further injury."
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