June 2016 Case Study – Zac

June 2016 Case Study – Zac

Zac1Name:            Zac

Age:               9 years

Breed:            Golden Retriever

Condition:       Weight Loss and Improve overall Muscle Mass.


Zac has been attending the centre since 2014 after he had gained some weight and lost muscle mass due to being unable to exercise as much as he had previously.

When he first attended the centre his weight was just over 48kg which demonstrated that he was obese and had a body condition score of 8/9 out of 10.

A body conditioning score chart is used by members of the Veterinary profession as a visual aid for owners to be able to demonstrate what their dogs look like and what they should be looking like on a picture scale.


Zac had been put onto a weight loss diet by the veterinary surgeon but hydrotherapy was advised in order to provide non weight bearing exercise, so reducing the pressure felt on his joints and to reduce the possibility of injury to his joints due to the excess weight he was carrying.

When Zac came to the centre he was fully assessed including a gait analysis, muscle mass measurements, discussion with the owner regarding at home care and exercise plan.

The muscle mass measurements on the initial session were as follows –


Limb Measurements
Left Fore 36cm
Right Fore 37cm
Left Hind 48cm
Right Hind 48cm


The above demonstrated that his overall muscle bulk was even which was also obvious on palpation so apart from the weight loss, there was not a specific area to target with Zac.

After the initial assessment it was decided that Zac was best suited to Hydrotherapy Pool sessions initially in order to provide non weight bearing exercise and so reduce the pressure through his joints whilst he was so overweight.

On the initial session following a shower, he was fitted with a life jacket and assisted into the pool by the hydrotherapist and his owner. He was then allowed some time to relax onto the ramp prior to starting any swimming.

On this session he completed 3 swims of 50 seconds to 1 minute each with a good rest period between. He coped well with this although he was tired after the session.

Following this initial session Zac continued to attend for Hydrotherapy Pool treatment and built his swimming times up to 3 sets of 1 minute 30 seconds with a good rest between. At this point he was also put into a harness as he was fairly buoyant within the water and he was able to carry out a combination of circuits, figure of 8’s and static swims following his squeaky toy.

On the 10th session Zac was re-assessed as follows –


Limb Measurement
Left Fore 38cm
Right Fore 38cm
Left Hind 53cm
Right Hind 53cm


These demonstrated that Zac had built up his muscle mass by

1-2cm in the fore limbs and 5cm in the hind limbs which was a great result and he had also gone down in weight to 46.4kg which we were all really pleased about as he had lost nearly 2kgs since starting at the centre.

Following on from this re-assessment Zac has continued to attend the centre every 2 weeks and although we did try him in the aquatic treadmill he much prefers his pool sessions so we have continued with these every 2 weeks.


Zac entering the hydrotherapy pool with Maxine.

We have also monitored Zac’s weight whilst at the centre and his most recent weigh in revealed her now weighs 38.8kg which demonstrates he has lost approximately 10kgs since starting with us at the centre in 2014. Zac looks fantastic and has so much more energy during his sessions and also recovers quicker from his swimming sessions.


Zac enjoying his swimming session with Maxine and his dad encouraging him with a toy.

During the swimming sessions Zac is able to complete circuits, figure of 8’s and static swims which he thoroughly enjoys especially if his squeaky toy is involved.

Zac’s latest measurements were as follows –


Limb Measurement
Left Fore 38cm
Right Fore 38cm
Left Hind 50cm
Right Hind 50cm

This indicated that Zac has maintained his overall muscle mass and is looking so much better overall and can manage more exercise at home now with no issues at all.


Zac having a rest on the ramp during his session with Maxine.


Zac has also now joined the Hawksmoor training team and comes along when we have a course on to train student hydrotherapists which he absolutely loves.

Overall we are all thrilled with Zac’s progress at the centre and we really enjoy him coming along for his sessions, he always comes in with a wagging tail and a very happy smile!


Zac enjoying a towel rub and cuddle with Maxine after his session.