A DOG paralysed by a stroke has been given a new lease of life, thanks to water therapy.
Trigger, a Staffordshire bull terrier crossed with a whippet, had a stroke a year ago.
Owner Mandi Stephens, 50, of Hall Road, Rochford, was told by a friend of the benefits of hydrotherapy, which led her to visit Moredege Canine Hydrotherapy, on Laurence Industrial Estate, Eastwoodbury Lane, Eastwood.
Trigger is nowmaking a great recovery.
Mandi said: “The treatment played a massive, part in his recovery and got him to where he is today.
“He walks funny and looks funny, but he can still run and live a normal life. He’s very happy. I don’t think he would have been anything like he is if it hadn’t been for the hydrotherapy centre.”
Mandi said she could never have put Trigger down after he suffered the stroke.
She said: “The stroke came out of the blue. One morning he was OK, the next he lost the use of his legs. Within 24 hours, he was completely paralysed.
“He was in the vets for four or five days and when he came out, he couldn’t do anything. I had to turn him every hour. I had to carry him around, it got very tiring. I think some people would have had him put down, but I never could.”
Jacqui Fry, who runs the centre, said: “Every part of his body was affected by a stroke. His face was even affected. Slowly we got him walking on the treadmill and now he can walk and run, swim and play.”
The centre offers a range of therapies including massage, hydrotherapy treadmill and swimming to help dogs in need.
Explaining how Trigger was helped, Jacqui said: “Massage allows recovery, gets the circulation flowing. Warm water exercises allows movement without putting weight down on injuries. It helps reduce swelling as well.”
Jacqui said the treatments can also help dogs with behavioural problems, making them less dangerous to the public.
She explained: “The warm water stimulates the nerve endings close to the skin and releases endorphins that can make them feel good and calms them.”