Veterinary Hydrotherapy

At Theravet we have over 20 years experience in delivering hydrotherapy. We have both a large indoor heated pool with ramp access and physiotherapy/rest platforms and a state of the art long chamber underwater treadmill with variable incline and decline. We have state of the art facilities with the ability to video your pets movement underwater and we also have a showering and drying room for post hydrotherapy comfort.

Pool based hydrotherapy allows a patient to exercise in a non weight bearing environment. By removing the need to bear weight on the limbs, it allows the joints and soft tissues to be gently and easily mobilised within the correct range of movement. Compensatory adjustment is lessened or removed and the limbs start to condition in the correct way, while core is improved and soft tissue strength increased. The effects of the achievements in hydrotherapy are, over time, translated into an animals weight bearing movement and patients are able to enjoy more mobility and activity on a day to day basis.
The hydrotherapy pool is warm water – heated to 29 degrees and it is filtered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to keep it beautifully clear and clean. We use small amounts of chlorine to kill waterborne bacteria and our water is tested 3 times a day and a large monthly external water test is done to ensure we meet audit requirements for the industry. Our pool has ramp access and variable height physiotherapy platforms at one end which serve as rest stations and areas where physiotherapy exercises can be performed in the water where many patients find them much easier.
The Hydrotherapy Treadmill is also warm water heated to 29 degrees and filtered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to keep it clean and clear. It undergoes the same rigorous water testing 3 times a day with an industry regulatory test once a month. The hydrotherapy treadmill allows us to alter water depth and belt speed to help alter gait patterns and limb use. We can vary the amount of support we give a patient and how hard they need to work. We can also introduce varying incline and decline in the treadmill to gently load and unload limbs. The therapist is able to help align joint movement and after rest periods can also use simple water based exercises.

All patients wear a suitable buoyancy aid or harness in the pool and treadmill and a therapist is always in the water with them. You can be present throughout. Please wear our blue overshoes in the wet areas and remember to keep your dog on a lead. No animal should enter the water if they have eaten in the last hour as it can cause complications.

Post swim we use veterinary grade herbal shampoos to gently cleanse the skin and then dry your pet using a chami, your own towel and then varying sizes of warm air dryers so that our smallest patients don’t get blown away but our biggest patients can enjoy a jolly good blow dry! We stock Ruff n Tumble post swim coats for those who would like to treat their pet.

It is important never to swim your pet in open water for therapy purposes. British water is usually too cold to be beneficial even in the height of summer. Cold causes vasoconstriction so blood flow is actually reduced to the joints and muscles. Outdoor water can be dirty and full of bacteria. Variations in depth, scrabbling on banks and the risk of debris on the waterbed are all risks to your pet. Lastly most animals don’t self regulate if they enjoy swimming and most will over-do it!

Suitable Cases for Hydrotherapy include

Post Operative Spinal Cases – more usually worked on pool platforms or in the underwater treadmill due to the risks of disc compression when pool swimming.
Pre and Post Operative Orthopaedic Cases – Can utilise both pool and treadmill
Post Fracture Repair – Can utilise both pool and treadmill
Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia – Can utilise both pool and treadmill
Cruciate Injury and Repair – Can utilise both pool and treadmill
Osteoarthritis – Often find the non weight bearing pool work beneficial
CDRM (Chronic Degenerative RadiculoMyelopathy) and Neurological Disorders – Can Utilisie both pool and treadmill
Weight Loss – Can utilise both pool and treadmill
Fitness Programs for Working and Agility Dogs – can utilise both pool and treadmill