Here is Libby on the underwater treadmill. She almost looks like she’s smiling! Must be good stuff.
When Libby, a miniature Australian Shepherd, began hopping around on 3 legs and avoiding putting weight on one of her hind legs, her mom Karla became concerned. Libby and her buddy Buster had been playing in the yard, (rutted with Buster’s holes!) and she assumed that Libby had stumbled and maybe sprained her leg. It turned out that Libby tore a cranial cruciate ligament (similar to an ACL in people) around her knee.
Surgery was considered, but it was expensive and might not even take care of the problem. So, along with their veterinarian, Karla and her family decided that Libby might benefit from some water therapy. The low-resistance therapy would also help Libby, who was about 10 lbs overweight, safely burn calories.
Libby signed up for 12 weeks of AquaPaw underwater treadmill. The treadmill is contained in a large plexiglass box with a door on one end. The water, filled to about hip level, is a comfy 90 degrees.
So far Libby has made good progress. In the beginning of her therapy, she walked for 7 minutes at .2 mph. When she became tired, she slowed down and rode the treadmill backwards. Every session the time is increased. Now she is able to walk for 20 minutes at 1mph, and will go on a maintenance program.
Karla reports that the therapy was relaxing and enjoyable for Libby. She lost 1-2 lbs. And, now Libby is improving and walking much more comfortably! Way to go, Libby. Keep it up!
Check out this video of Cloie, an Australian shepherd, and her treatment!