Two years ago, we lost our St. Dane Bailey to Bone Cancer. Shortly before he passed away, we got "Benson"---a ten week old St. Dane ball of fur who was just as cute as he could be. When he was 5 months old, he began to favor his left rear leg. We took him to our vet who diagnosed him with severe Hip Dysplasia and mild elbow dysplasia.His left hip was completely out of joint and his right one wasn't much better. We were devastated that Benson had such a debilitating disease at such a young age. Our vet gave us some options and we chose to do a "Femoral Head Osteoectomy", a procedure whereby they remove the top of the femur in order to relieve pain and prevent the bones from rubbing together. After the initial period of rest, our vet recommended that we take him to the lake and let him swim--that it was good exercise to help him strengthen tendons and muscles to support his elbows and hips. While I thought that swimming was a good idea, I did not think that the cold lake water would help his joints and may hinder his healing process. So, I started to look for a physical therapist for Benson that had a pool. It was recommended to me by a co-worker that I try Debbie at Pawsitive Touch for Dogs. I called and spoke with her and explained what was happening with Benson and what the vet had said about swimming being the best way to strengthen his joints. We made an appointment for the following week. We started off with weekly therapy sessions and gradually moved him to every other week. He loves Debbie and the warm water! Sometimes she makes him work a little harder than he likes, but Debbie knows best and she always rewards him with warm water jets which he loves! It has been almost a year now since we have been doing his therapy and he is doing well. At his last check-up, our vet said that the therapy had worked well beyond what he thought it would and that Benson has progressed much farther than expected and he was sure it was because of the hydrotherapy. He feels that it has helped prevent a second surgery for his right hip and his elbows. He said to "Keep doing what you're doing, because it is working!" I can't thank Debbie and Pawsitive Touch for Dogs enough for helping our boy Benson to have a full and happy life, with the ability to run and play without the pain and stiffness that Dysplasia brings.


Honey's Hydro at Pawsitive Touch

My dog, Honey, started showing signs of displacia at six months old. By the time she was three, she'd really started having problems and I was concerned that her life was going to be short and not sweet if nothing was done to help her, so at the suggestion of my vet, she underwent an FHO (femoral head ostectomy) on her left leg. The plan is to have the other side done after she recovers but after the surgery she was so disbled that I doubted she would ever recover enough for a second operation. Her doctor recommended hydro-theropy for her recovery so I brought Honey to Debbie Erb's Pawsitive Touch as soon as Honey had had her stitches removed. She was a real mess. She couldn't put any weight on her left leg and was a really sad sight holding the wounded leg up where ever she went. Debbie started out really slowly with her massaging and manipulating the leg underwater. It was quite a while with a set back or two before she even dared to start the underwater treadmill. Now, however, ten weeks later, Honey is doing two short sets on the underwater treadmill with all four legs going and although I still have to keep her confined or on a leash all the time, she's almost walking normally and has regained her spirits and sense of humor. And not only is her tail all curled up again she wags it all the time. I am cautiously optimistic that my girl is going to have a happy, hopefully pain-free, life. Debbie and her Pawsitive Touch have worked a miracle on my girl and I am so grateful.

Hilary Murray


My dog Eldon has been suffering from slow muscle atrophy in his front legs and a weakening in his hind legs. This is spite of daily walks and constant veterinary care, and medication. I first became familiar with PAWSITIVE TOUCH FOR DOGS through their brochure in the office of Valley Animal Hospital, and asked Dr. Forsberg about hydrotherapy. She said that it certainly couldn't do him any harm. I made an appointment immediately. Eldon has had 6 sessions and is much improved. He now jumps in the car without hesitation, he is running around the yard daily which he hasn't done often in the past few months. I'm greatly pleased to see him so active and obviously enjoying himself more than he was.