Paralysed sausage dog recovers thanks to pilates and paddleboarding

paralysed Sausage dog revived by pilatres and physiotherapy can now go paddleboarding with owner
She also does wobble cushion therapy (Picture: Joanna Day/Anita Maric/SWNS)

A sausage dog who was paralysed on more than one occasion because of a spinal condition has recovered thanks to an exercise regimen that includes pilates and paddleboarding.

Pip the sausage dog has intervertebral disc disease, which left her needing spinal surgeries and spending years in pain.

Thanks to a vet who prescribed core-strengthening and posture-improving exercises, the seven-year-old dachshund has made a full recovery.

The exercises on Pip’s list include canine pilates sessions, wobble cushion therapy and paddleboarding.

Owner Joanna Day, 35, 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.
Pip the dog during exercise.
What a trooper (Picture: Joanna Day/SWNS)
Joanna Day, 35, with her dog Pip paddle-boarding
Joanna and Pip paddleboarding (Picture: Joanna Day/SWNS)

‘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.

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‘Pip has also been paralysed previously and the second time it happened she was rehabilitated with hydrotherapy.

‘She’s a very tough dog.’

Pip the dog during laser therapy at the vets
Pip during her laser therapy (Picture: Joanna Day/SWNS)
pip the sausage dog
Joanna said: ‘She’s a very tough dog’ (Picture: Anita Maric/SWNS)
After Pip relapsed last August, nurse Joanna, of Warwick, took the dog to Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in Solihulls.

Pip was treated with laser, massages and stretches, and now 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.

‘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.’

Joanna Day, 35, with her dog Pip at home in Warwick
Joanna with Pip (Picture: Anita Maric/SWNS)
pip the dog
She’s made a full recovery (Picture: Joanna Day/SWNS)

Is it a duck…or a dog? The Newfoundland breed has a water resistant coat and webbed feet. This dog was originally bred to help haul nets for fishermen and rescuing people at risk of drowning.

Emma Box, a veterinary physiotherapist 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.

‘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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