Most people don’t know that sheep can swim.
Sure, we know our dogs are naturals, and sheep might not be quite as adept as our canine companions, but if they do happen to find themselves neck deep in water, they certainly know how to kick those legs to stay afloat!
Hydrotherapy has been proven to significantly improve the quality and rate of healing following surgery or traumatic injury, so it comes as no surprise why animal rescue organizations employ this practice to aid in the recovery of specialized cases.
Just as controlled swimming can help with rehabilitation for dogs, the same principles can be applied to sheep, which is why here at Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary, we decided to give it a whirl with one of our rescued lambs who recently underwent surgery on one of her legs.
Rescued from a sheep farm that raised babies for meat, the very same condition that led to her needing surgery turned out to be little Lucera’s saving grace. Born with crippled front legs, Lucera wasn’t able to go out to graze with the other lambs, and as a result she never put on much weight, so when it came time to send the lambs to slaughter at 3 months, the farmer didn’t think it was worth the money and ended up giving her away instead.
Before long she found herself here at the sanctuary and we realized right away that she needed to see a specialist. After booking her an appointment at the nearest veterinary hospital, the surgeon agreed to operate the very next day, but made it clear that this wouldn’t be a definite fix.
Now in recovery, Lucera has started her hydrotherapy sessions. Here you can see her hanging out in her hammock with her best friend Luna standing by for moral support, while the water fills up in the paddling pool in preparation for her first ever swimming lesson.
Normally Lucera wears a splint and this homemade hammock serves as the perfect place to change her dressings, as well as check up on how the leg is healing.
Once the pool was full and the sun had worked its magic and made the water a much more welcoming temperature, Lucera took the plunge, and tried her hooves at swimming for the first time.
Having never swam before Lucera was a natural, and darted her way across the paddling pool working those little legs along the way.
Despite being a brilliant little swimmer, as you can see in the video below, we wouldn’t say that she is the water’s biggest fan!
Lucera’s legs have improved immensely since arriving at the sanctuary, and nothing makes us happier than to see her getting stronger with each passing day.
She’s a feisty little character with the attitude of a diva, and she won’t let any of the other animals boss her around just because she has a handicap. Armed with her splint, she traverses her way around the pasture with surprising ease, and sometimes when she gets really excited, she even runs and does a funny little jump!
Photo Credit: Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary