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Published July 20, 2009, 08:16 AM

Injured dogs head to the pool for therapy

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Left with no other option than to stay locked up in a kennel, some injured dogs in the area are heading to the pool. Hydro-therapy is not just for people anymore, exercising underwater is good for our furry friends too, WDAY 6 Reporter Kelsey Soby has the story.

By: Kelsey Soby, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Left with no other option than to stay locked up in a kennel, some injured dogs in the area are heading to the pool. Hydro-therapy is not just for people anymore, exercising underwater is good for our furry friends too, WDAY 6 Reporter Kelsey Soby has the story.

With just a nudge, Karl hopes to help his dog make leaps and bounds toward recovery. This is no pooch pool party; Ruger is working hard, muscling through a bad leg injury.

In February, Ruger tore his ACL. Surgery to repair it worked, but keeping him in the kennel to heal didn't. This bundle of Chesapeake Bay retriever energy got out and got hurt again.

This time Ruger's not only resting, but also re-building at Molen Pet Center in Fargo opened by a local orthopedic surgeon.

Some of these dogs are recent from surgery and are gimpy. They have weak legs. One to three dogs a day make waves in these healing waters, each time they stretch and gain strength.

“People get out of the hospital more quickly because we move more quickly. It's no different with dogs. The quicker we can move them the better it is.”

During rehab there’s no yelling or giving doggy treats, instructors just speak to the dogs and guide them and use the occasional toy. After just one session, Karl says he notices a difference in his hunting buddy.

This pool, the only of its kind within 100 miles is part of a journey to recovery where even the strongest swimmers doggy paddle and pant along the way.

It costs 25 dollars for a 30 minute rehab sessions at Molen Pet Center. Francisca says some people sign up their hunting dogs and show dogs, simply to make them stronger.

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