Hydrotherapy is a controlled, non-weight bearing form of exercise in an aquatic environment and can be used in the form of swimming or water treadmill therapy. It helps to improve cardiovascular stamina, muscle tone and is very helpful in aiding recovery from injury or surgery. Hydrotherapy also improves fitness, which is especially useful in patients where weight is being controlled. Muscle wastage begins within 3 days of any immobilisation so to prevent further weakness or injury it is important to rebuild, through safe exercise such as hydrotherapy, any muscles that have deteriorated.
The recovery process is generally much quicker on patients having hydrotherapy. It works by allowing the dog to exercise without placing any pressure or stress on the affected joints and also improves range of movement and circulation.
Pre surgical conditioning – Increasing muscle mass and general fitness prior to surgery
When fractures/joints are unstable
The first Hydrotherapy session will be 45 minutes as we include an orientation of the building, our facilities and important health and safety information. Our hydrotherapists will devise a specific training programme, following the referral from your vet and introduce your dog to the water; either in the pool or the water treadmill.
We ask that your dog is brushed prior to its appointment to get rid of as much excess hair as possible. We will give your dog a thorough health check and shower prior to entry into either the pool or the water treadmill. Dogs are fitted with life jackets and are swum by the qualified canine hydrotherapists.
We recommend that you accompany your dog during sessions as you can provide encouragement and make the most of the time your dog has in the water whilst also observing the benefits of hydrotherapy.
After your appointment, your dog will be showered and then dried by the hydrotherapist and we recommend that you try to ensure your dog is kept as warm as possible when leaving the Animal Therapy Centre in order to maintain the benefit of the warm water therapy.
You will need to pay at the time of each treatment (usually before you go in for your appointment). We accept all major credit and debit cards, cheques and cash.
The specially designed pool at the Animal Therapy Centre allows a dog to swim in a controlled environment; which gently exercises every muscle in its body, helping them to rebuild or maintain cardiovascular fitness without the risk of injury.
The pool measures 4.16L x 1.63W x 1.2D. Resistant jets can be used to increase the treatment programme further. The water is maintained between 28C- 32C to ensure the muscles are relaxed and to increase circulation which promotes better recovery.
The pool water is tested and recorded at a minimum of three times a day to ensure that the chlorine sanitisation levels are within safe parameters for your dog and the therapists.
The Aquatic Treadmill offers an additional service to the pool, concentrating on conditions that are more beneficial to the dog concerned. This includes those dogs that particularly dislike swimming, larger breeds and those suffering from spinal conditions where they need to be kept straight as opposed to turning in a circle.
The Aquatic Treadmill is a Hydro Physio model which measures 3metres in length. With easy access ramps and glass viewing at 360, viewing your dog can be monitored throughout the whole session.
Adjustable belt speeds and water depths means the treatment plan can be case specific, and as the system can fill and empty in less than two minutes, dogs can start treatment immediately on arrival.