Archie is a 3-year-old neutered male purebred Border Collie. Archie has been with the same loving family since being purchased from his breeder at 8 weeks of age.
Archie had no history of any physical deficiencies. He had started sheep training at about 4 months of age but was "hitting the sheep too hard" according to his trainer and he wanted to put him on cattle. This was not the program we had in mind for Archie and knowing a Border Collie has to have some type of physical activity, promptly put him in Puppy Obedience then Agility school. Archie was almost 2 years old when he started his second set of classes and after a few weeks the trainer noticed that he was having difficulty going down the "A" frame contact obstacle when it was set up for regulation height and this generally was an indication of some kind of back problem and recommended Archie see a Veterinary Chiropractor for treatment.
We first consulted our regular veterinarian who suggested a full set of x-rays, as a chiropractor would require them anyway. The x-rays disclosed two compressed bones (cervical) in his lower neck and mild, beginning hip dysplasia in his right hip. Temporary medication of Rimadyl was prescribed for a week and a program of weight loss (Archie weighed 71 lbs.) and daily administration of Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM was recommended.
We immediately began research on treatment options for Archie's condition. A friend recommended physical therapy, specifically Beth Williams at K9 Wellness Center. At the time we were under a vainly mistaken apprehension of Physical Therapy. We called Beth anyway and were invited to inspect the facilities, which we did. Unwittingly (but now most appreciated) we were invited at a time that was during a therapy session with one of Beth's more dramatic success stories. We left with a much-enlightened mind and appreciation for the results of Pet Therapy. All doubts were removed. We were looking for the best treatment option and we found it. Archie started his sessions the next week.
Archie was given an initial evaluation to determine the appropriate therapy program for his symptoms. We were given instructions for home care, massage, exercises, heat therapy, etc. and after a few sessions, with our Vet and Beth’s approval Archie was enrolled in another agility course. He lost 10 lbs., has better muscle tone and is much more active.
A couple of weeks into Archie’s agility lessons, his new trainer observed an unusual gait pattern – "side slipping" or "crabbing" as she put it, when he was running. His rear legs would be to one side or the other while he was running in a straight line. Beth had an exercise for this and within two weeks Archie was running straight and true.
After about three months Archie no longer required therapy but now continues a conditioning/ maintenance program of exercise on the treadmill and swimming while waiting for the spring thaw to resume agility. Although a relatively minor case compared to some of her patients, from the bottom of his big little heart Archie says "thank you Beth for allowing me to live a happy, normal life."
I met Beth Williams in August 2003 shortly after my dog, Chester, suffered a spinal stroke. The stroke had left Chester, who was 6 years old at the time, paralyzed in his hind legs as well as bowel and bladder incontinent. I had two choices: put Chester down or take him home and see if he could be rehabilitated since other dogs have been able to walk again after similar strokes. I decided to take him home and give him three months to show some signs of improvement. I got a wheel chair, several boxes of diaper pads and, best of all, a referral to Beth. My main goals were to get him to the point where he could walk and regain continence. We started seeing Beth three times a week and, after about two weeks, Chester began to show movement in his tail and his left leg. Beth then began working with him in the small pool where he slowly began to walk and bear some weight on his hind legs. By Christmas time, the wheel chair was gathering dust in the garage
and we were seeing Beth once a week. It has been 1 1/2 years since Beth came into our lives and my initial goals have long since been met. Chester is almost back to the dog he was before the stroke - he runs around, chases his ball, goes with us to the beach where he swins and runs and, two weeks ago, went cross country skiing with me where I skied for 5 km and he ran much farther.
I am doubtful that Chester would have come as far if I'd taken him home and merely let nature "take its course". In fact, without Beth, I probably would have had to put him down. Even now when he gets weak and wobbly, we go see Beth, she works her magic and I return home with a strong and happy dog.
Just a few months ago, my retriever mix Mandy was an overweight, low energy dog. At an age of 9years Mandy was acting even older than that with little interest in her toys. A recent hike showed us that Mandy was at a physical low point. She barely made it through the hike stopping frequently to lay down and rest and lagging behind us for the entire time.
It was my Mom who found the advertisement in the newspaper about the K9 Wellness service. We decided to enroll Mandy in the swimming therapy program. Afraid of water and never having had the experience of swimming before Mandy was frightened and very physically challenged.
Today Mandy weighs 10 lbs. less and has the high energy
that she did as a younger dog. Mandy and her toys go flying through the
house. The real test came when we attempted yet another hike. Wow, Mandy
was in the lead and waiting for us! Thanks to the kindness and patience
of Beth Williams and
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