A rabbit in the UK with arthritis seems to be benefiting from hydrotherapy treatments. A four-year old continental giant named Heidi wears a life jacket while she swims in a pool filled with warm water. Here are more details from a report on the BBC:
Hydrotherapy pool owner Linda Prove admitted she was sceptical when a vet referred the rabbit, but the treatment was “working incredibly well”.
Heidi’s owner Amanda Williams, from Christchurch, said her pet took to it like a “duck to water”.
Heidi, who weighs about 7kg, had been diagnosed with arthritis in her hips and knees and spondylosis in her neck.
Ms Prove, owner of the pool in Milford-on-Sea, Hampshire, said: “We’ve had lots of success with dogs – it’s good for the joints as it gets them moving and means they don’t stiffen up.”
While rabbits can swim in the wild, Heidi wears a buoyancy jacket during the sessions and is carefully dried afterwards to prevent hypothermia.
Ms Williams said: “None of us thought she would tolerate even one minute in water.
“She is certainly a lot more lively and is obviously benefiting from this treatment.”
To see the complete report, including a short video of Heidi swimming across the pool, please go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-21647280
Hoppington Post has reported on some species of wild rabbits in the southern United States that swim, but this is the first time we have ever heard of a European house rabbit enjoying the water.
We have a Rex rabbit with some arthritis in her spine, and we have been giving her Oxbow Joint Support supplements, which seem to be helping, but we wonder whether she would benefit from soaking in a nice hot bath. We think she would probably disapprove.