Hunt hound enjoys R&R at canine hydrotherapy pool

A hound from the Vale of the White Horse (VWH) hunt has been enjoying some R&R at a canine hydrotherapy pool as he recuperates from an injury.

Honiton 2018 champion foxhound Folklore has been undergoing the treatment for a bad back which he developed after he “stifled” himself on a fence out hunting.

Countess Goess-Saurau, one of the masters of the VWH, said Folklore was one of several hounds they had sent to the Lechlade K9 Centre.

“We started using hydrotherapy 12 years ago with a hound called Aztec who was champion sire at Ardingly and we’re hoping it will get Folklore sounds as a pound as well,” she said. “Because of his stifle injury he’d been compensating and he’d developed a sore back, so he’s been booked in for ten sessions. He’ll have a break and then begin his fitness work with the other hounds again over the summer, when the huntsmen take them out alongside bicycles.”

She said that Folklore had been slightly “shellshocked” at first when introduced to the pool but “had adjusted well” and went on to “love it”.

“He makes everyone laugh when he rejoins the pack after a shampoo and blow dry,” she said. “He has a slightly woolly coat so he does fluff up a bit.”

Countess Goess-Saurau, who walked Folklore as a puppy, said the four-year-old is a “charming character and a very good hunting hound,” who is also a sire in his own right.

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“The hounds are athletes so we do what we can for them, and they have a good life,” she explained. “It’s not unusual to call a chiropractor out if one gets a bad back. We run a hound sponsorship scheme that pays for microchips and jabs, each hound is sponsored for £20 which all helps with vets’ bills.”

Hounds can run the risk of minor strains and injuries as they can cover up to 20 miles in a day when out hunting — often double the distance covered by the field. The VWH’s doghounds usually go out twice a week during the season.

“It’s an energetic life and they are very fit, which helps them to recover more quickly if they do have a problem,” she added.

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