Mabel is a happy duck; new therapy helps her arthritis

An indoor swimming pool has helped an arthritic duck find her water wings.

Mabel splashes delightedly during a therapeutic swim at the K9 H20 Canine Aquatic Facility.

Mabel splashes delightedly during a therapeutic swim at the K9 H20 Canine Aquatic Facility.

An indoor swimming pool has helped an arthritic duck find her water wings.

Mabel was brought to Elizabeth’s Wildlife Centre nine years ago after a resident found her stranded in the Sevenoaks Shopping Centre parking lot.

The Peking duck was never released back into the wild because she suffers from severe arthritis in her legs, making walking difficult and flying impossible. To get up and waddle a few steps, she plants her yellow bill down on the ground and uses it for leverage to elevate herself.

Mabel undergoes several different forms of therapy to help ease pressure on her swollen joints, including chiropractic treatments. The latest remedy is half-hour swim sessions at K9 H20 Canine Aquatic Facility in Abbotsford.

“She loves it. She has the time of her life going in and out of the water, and splashing around,” said Elizabeth Melnick, who runs the non-profit wildlife centre. “It’s nice for her because she gets to have this buoyancy.”

Melnick gives Mabel her own little wading pool filled with warm water during the summer, but it’s too shallow for her to actually swim. At K9 H20, Mabel is free to bob around the pool, flap her wings and dunk her head under water.