Tess had been diagnosed with arthritis in both hip joints and also a stiff knee joint. She was a dog that would walk around puddle of water and was never seen with water above her knees, but with the expert attention of the staff on her first swim, she was coaxed into the water.

The difference we have seen in 2 years...... Previously she walked at times on 3 legs very slowly and with a very stiff back end, she now behaves like a pup after her swim and goes for long walks, she is even known to run!! She is happy and contented and seems much fitter.

Tess also boards at Butterwick when we go on holiday and is able to continue her swims there too.

We attribute 90% of Tess’s  recovery to the hydrotherapy pool and its staff.. We have recommended Butterwick to many dog owners and would suggest any owners of dogs  to give the pool a visit.


At the age of 10 years Emily, a German shepherd, developed a condition known as C.D.R.M (Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy) which means the nerves at the base of the spine start to die. Emily was only able to walk six paces before she fell over, this caused her a lot of distress. We visited our vet feeling this was the end and I was going to have had to put Emily to sleep. My vet said there was one more thing we could try which was Hydrotherapy. This was our last hope so we  went to Butterwick on our vets recommendation where we met Mark. After hearing Emily’s story and having a good look at her Mark agreed to help. Emily had never swam in her life before and was very naughty on her session’s at the pool, but Mark was very kind and soon had Emily swimming. After only two sessions there was a big change in Emily, it was like a miracle as she could walk again and was not falling over. We visited the hydrotherapy pool every week and each time we saw an improvement, Emily was once again a happy dog who enjoyed her walks and even started playing again. Mark and the hydrotherapy sessions had given Emily her life back. This continued until Emily was nearing her 12th birthday. Then due to an urgent admission into hospital for three weeks Emily went down hill and was unable to walk again.

I was heartbroken, but one phone call to Mark was all it took and once again Mark came to our rescue and started the hydrotherapy sessions once more. Mark soon got Emily back on her feet and she is now happy in her self. Mark is very dedicated in what he does and will always go the extra mile for you. I would say to any dog owner do not give up hope but get in touch with Mark at Butterwick Hydrotherapy. As I know he will always try to help you and your dog. Emily is proof that hydrotherapy works well. I have seen lots of dogs with different kinds of mobility problems benefiting from hydrotherapy treatment, so believe me there is hope. Emily and I can never thank Mark enough for all he has done.


Taz was 10 years old, a Rottweiler/Labrador cross, and full of bounce and sparkle.  One day over Easter she let out the most appalling scream after one such chase. We couldn’t find anything wrong with her, and after a few minutes she recovered and walked home. However, she screamed once or twice more when she got home, there was obviously something very wrong.  Also she wouldn’t eat, which was so unlike Taz, she lives for her food.

After a difficult examination (she had rather a lot of middle age spread) our vet discovered that she had slipped a disc in her upper back

Gradually, over many weeks, the dreadful screams subsided to the occasional yelp, and she was able to go for short walks in the adjoining field. She had become very miserable during this time, and her tail hardly ever wagged.  More visits to the vet – we were almost permanent fixtures in the surgery. However, she continued to improve, and could take longer walks, and became happier, although rather subdued. Then one day she came back from her walk limping heavily, her back leg this time. Being banned from chasing trains she had turned her attention to rabbits, and twisted her leg. Back to the vet yet again, more painkillers, more rest, she had injured her cruciate ligament. After several weeks with very little improvement we decided, very reluctantly, that she should be operated on.

However, after studying the X-rays taken prior to the operation. Our vet discovered that it was, in fact, beginning to heal, if rather slowly. He said he would rather not operate if it could be avoided, and suggested we try hydrotherapy coupled with a weight loss programme.

When we first saw Butterwick Hydrotherapy we were immediately impressed by the pool room, large, airy, beautifully tiled and immaculately clean, the water invitingly warm. Mark took the time to explain to us how he goes about things and how hydrotherapy works, and to ask us what we (and our vet) hoped to achieve from the treatment.

For her first swim Taz was provided with a very snazzy net bathing costume so that Mark had complete control over her, and he could see exactly what was going on with her under water, but she has since progressed to a smart red life jacket. Mark swims her in short bursts, with a rest on the ramp in between because it is hard work, making sure that she uses her legs to full capacity – she has got wise and tries to get away with just a lazy doggy paddle if she can, but Mark soon puts a stop to that! Her progress is chalked up on a board so that Mark can see exactly how she is progressing from week to week.

Taz’s leg has improved dramatically, you could almost see the muscle growing back each week, the whole shape of her leg has changed for the better. An added bonus is that hydrotherapy is helping her arthritis too. Pain killers are now a thing of the past, and we are confident that she will finally be signed off by the vet in a couple of weeks.

So a big “Thank you” Mark, for helping to make our Taz and her besotted owners happy again.


Sam is a 12 year old arthritic black Labrador with attitude! Before he started attending hydrotherapy sessions last year he was struggling with his movement, and seemed to be quite depressed about life. He had no interest in walks and even attempting to stand up was quite a task for him.

When he started his hydrotherapy it seemed that his stubbornness would prevent him from making any progress. However with time and lots of patience it has certainly paid off.

A year on, Sam is a much happier dog. His eyes are shining and his tail wags much more. Basic movements appear to have become much easier for him as his joints are not as stiff. He can stand up without any trouble, and has even tried playing football in the garden again (something which he hadn’t done for a couple of years).

Every week when he sees his towel coming out of the cupboard he gets on his feet, tail wagging and cannot wait to get to Butterwick hydrotherapy.

He has got the twinkle back in his eyes - Thanks Mark!


Bess was diagnosed with a cruciate ligament injury .The vet suggested we give her a course of Hydrotherapy and to return in six weeks to see if there was any improvement.

Remembering an advert, I rang Butterwick Hydrotherapy and arranged a visit to see the facilities. I was impressed by the friendliness of the owners and staff alike as well as being very professional. The pool and pool area were spotless, had every safety measure, showers for an after swim rinse and lots of toys to play with. This was the place for Bess so I booked 10 sessions (getting one free).

Although Bess loved swimming, she had never worn a life jacket or been in a pool before but with Mark’s reassurance and encouragement, she soon relaxed and enjoyed her swim.

Six weeks later when we returned to the vet, Bess was able to put her foot down and the muscles were starting to build once again. The vet was very impressed and said to continue with the hydrotherapy. Even better, she didn’t need to have an operation. All I can say is hydrotherapy worked wonders for Bess and she now runs about as normal.

Because of her success, I now take my other dog Homer who has hip and elbow dysplasia. Again his muscle tone is getting better and hopefully he may loose some weight. Both dogs love going for their swim, in fact they both go crazy when we get there wanting to be the first in.

Hydrotherapy worked and is still working for my two dogs, so if in doubt give it a go and give Butterwick a ring!