Meet Flora


Some of you may already know Flora who belongs to centre owner, Jackie.

Flora is a huge part of the Snowy's family, at the age of 11 Flora is a very active labrador who enjoys forest walks and of course her regular hydrotherapy.  In March, it was noticed by Jackie when out walking, Flora would lose her balance and become un-coordinated through the hind limbs.

Snowy’s has a close working relationship with Andrei Uricaru therefore an appointment was booked.    Andrei arrived and spent considerable time observing and examining Flora, sadly Flora was diagnosed with a spinal issue of the thoracic and lumbar spine.

This was a very difficult diagnosis for Jackie to come to terms with.  Her experience and dedication to dog’s attending Snowy’s on a daily basis for similar conditions she takes in her stride, however, we all know when it’s your own dog, it’s totally different.

With this diagnosis, the bad news was for a few weeks, this meant during the early stages of recovery Flora was unable to continue with her forest walks and her very favourite activity...hydrotherapy “Rest Rest Rest” was PARAMOUNT. For Flora this is not something she finds easy to deal with, trying to convince a very active intelligent and cheeky Labrador that she must lie, and rest was not an easy task.

The good news is that Flora is in the right place!

Our team has created a first of its kind treatment plan, providing care for Flora’s condition with non-surgical treatment, although Flora’s condition is typically treated surgically.
Thanks to the team of Therapists’ at Snowy’s and our independent orthopaedic vet Andrei Uricaru who always works closely with us at the centre upon client request; we are happy to announce that Flora has blossomed and her mobility has improved greatly without needing any surgical assistance!

To outline her journey; here’s her 12 week treatment programme listed her below;

Week 1-6:

Flora was kept to a strict rest period for these 6 weeks. She was kept to no exercise except for a sniff around the small paddock on site for 5 minutes at a time. Throughout this she has undergone an innovative and intense course of LASER using our top of the range Companion Care Animal Health LASER, this was combined with Pulsed Magnetic Field Therapy (PMFT) and PMFT spinal jacket treatment which will remain constant throughout her treatment to aid and maintain her recovery.

Week 7-9:

Flora is now allowed to go on short lead walks only, alongside her continued LASER, PMFT and PMFT spinal jacket treatment.  During these weeks physical muscular development and myotherapy massage was introduced.

Flora enjoys the massage, she tended to hold herself incorrectly, compensating for the pain felt through the vertebrae.  This subsequently created a tight and fibrous feel to the muscle body.

This treatment uses the application of advanced, targeted massage techniques enabling the therapist to work on the appropriate muscles to reduce areas of stress, improve circulation, muscle function, and therefore alleviate pain. 

The massage has certainly aided with improvement of her overall mobility and enhancing the healing process.

Physical Muscular Development exercises where introduced, these included the use of our proprioceptive equipment of balance mats and tracks, to help Flora engage her core muscles whilst similarly engaging her hindlimbs and allowing us to tap into her proprioceptive system to help stimulate nerve messages and gait patterns.

Week 10-12:

After close observation and consultation with Andrei; Flora is now allowed 10 minutes of assisted swimming with two therapists; she also goes into the treadmill where a therapist is hands on and able to re-educate and initiating the correct gait patterns our team are encouraged to use “hands on” as it’s not always about what you can see but what you can feel in order to enhance cellular communication and support the healing potential of the body. Flora is also allowed slightly longer walks on lead, alongside continued LASER and PMFT treatment.

Flora’s first swim after her rest period; was a delight to see, to say she was extremely happy about it was an understatement!

The whole team at Snowy’s have worked incredibly hard with the rehabilitation programme for Flora’s recovery.  We are now waiting for a final visit from Andrei to see if Flora is strong enough to have a short holiday in the caravan.



We would like to finish this post with a huge “Thank You” to;
Andrei Uricaru - Orthopaedic Surgeon - Auorthopaedics -– For his dedication and compassion

Lisa Miller - VP Clinical Veterinary Medicine - Companion Health –- for her expert knowledge and support

Dr Somerville and Lorraine of WESTVILLE THERAPY – for their expertise and guidance.

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