Monday 9.00am – 4.00pm
Tuesday 9.00am – 4.30pm
Thursday 10.30am – 6.30pm
Another of our facilities is our Canine Hydrotherapy Unit; this is a purpose-built unit housing an aquatic treadmill to provide the latest technology for canine rehabilitation, pre- and post-operative conditioning, general fitness training and weight loss.
Why choose hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy involves the use of therapeutic exercise in warm water – a combination of warmth, buoyancy and hydrostatic pressure reduces pain and swelling, promotes muscle relaxation and improves circulation and healing. Exercising in water is effective in increasing proprioception, muscular and cardio-respiratory endurance, range of motion of the joints, general mobility and psychological well-being.
Indications for hydrotherapy
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Osteoarthritis management
- Orthopaedic pre-surgical conditioning and post-operative rehabilitation
- Neurological rehabilitation post-spinal injury, including paraplegic animals
- Chronic degenerative radiculomyopathy
- Weight management
- General mobility and fitness
Why use a treadmill instead of swimming?
Swimming is an excellent exercise for general fitness but aquatic treadmill therapy provides greater control of the speed, duration and intensity of exercise. The flexion and extension of specific limbs and joints can be targeted by variations in water depth and the use of floatation devices.
The treadmill also requires the animal to weight bear and therefore adopt a normal walking gait. The position adopted for swimming, particularly where dogs are hoisted into a pool and swim against jets, can lead to a tightening of the back and shoulder muscles resulting in a stiff and sore neck.
Another treadmill benefit is that it assists with propriaception as the resistance of the water increases sensory awareness and provides stability whilst allowing a longer reaction time for the patient to place its feet.
The Hydrotherapy Programme
The unit is staffed by Registered Veterinary Nurses and a Hydrotherapy Technician. At the first appointment, a nurse will assess the dog and tailor a rehabilitation programme. Each programme is designed to meet the animal’s specific needs and is closely monitored. The majority of cases start with a six-week programme consisting of two sessions a week.
Dogs undergoing hydrotherapy for purposes other than fitness require referral by, and the consent of, their Veterinary Surgeon. For their safety, we ask that the dog’s overall health has been checked within the 3 months prior to referral to ensure that they are fit to undertake an exercise programme. This is of particular importance in older dogs. We also ask that all relevant history, details of concurrent disease and medication are supplied with the completed referral form. You will then be contacted by a member of the Hydrotherapy Team and an initial appointment arranged. Please note that although the Unit is based at a Veterinary Centre, it is nurse led and dogs are not seen by our Veterinary Surgeons except in emergencies. We maintain high ethical standards in respect of referrals and you remain a client of your own veterinary practice. If you would like to discuss your case or would like to see the Hydrotherapy Unit, please contact us on 01296 621835.