This involves the use of movement in water to relieve discomfort and promote physical well being. Hydrotherapy is suitable for dogs of all shapes and sizes, and is beneficial in recovery from injury, for chronic conditions such as arthritis and for weight loss.
Our hydrotherapy pool and underwater treadmill are set up for your pet’s comfort and safety. The quality of the water is the same as that for humans. The water is kept at 29-30 degrees to ensure maximum benefit to the dog and is constantly filtered day and night.
The underwater treadmill is generally used for gait re-education following an injury or for more controlled exercise post-operatively, whereas the pool is used for complete non-weight bearing exercise and is beneficial for dogs with arthritis of multiple joints or overweight dogs. The pool is also used for strengthening as we can exercise the dogs in various directions, whereas exercise in the underwater treadmill is always performed in a straight line.
Our Hydrotherapists fit a harness or floatation coat to each pet and will stay in the water with your pet throughout their session to enable full control and provide reassurance.
Seating is available so you can be with your pet during their session.
We have separate washing and drying facilities, or you can get your dog booked in for a post-hydro groom!
The dogs access the water via a gently sloping ramp. One of our Physiotherapists or Hydrotherapists stays in the water with your dog for the duration of their swim, we find this gives the dog more confidence, enables us to facilitate better movement and allows them to be removed from the pool quickly in an emergency. The pool can be accessed from all sides for safety. For additional safety, non-slip flooring is fitted all around the pool area.
While swimming the dog is not bearing any weight on their joints allowing them free movement without the pressure of weight bearing. The warmth of the water improves circulation while the pressure of the water can reduce swelling.
Actual swimming time will depend upon the injury and fitness of the dog, normally the first time that a dog swims it will vary between 2-5 minutes, gradually increasing over visits up to a maximum of 25 minutes. The length of the session depends on your dog’s medical condition, needs and ability. We are always guided by the specific needs and limitations of your dog. We also offer fun swims!
An underwater treadmill is as the name suggests – a treadmill enclosed in a glass surround that can have varying depths of water in it to allow your dog to walk at varying speeds in water. This means that the dog is loading some of their body weight onto their limbs but as the height of the water increases the amount of weight on their limbs decreases, therefore minimising the load on the tissues. The resistance of the water promotes strengthening and the height of the water can be altered to improve the range of motion of specific joints. The water is warm so improves circulation while the pressure of the water can reduce swelling.
A therapist will stay in the treadmill tank with your dog until they are confident and strong enough to walk without support or need for intervention.
It is much harder work walking in water than on land so the total walking time can vary from a couple of minutes to ten minutes.