Our treatment philosophy:
We believe the best results are achieved when your dog is engaged yet relaxed and we use our knowledge of canine behaviour to help to achieve this. We do not use painful or unpleasant techniques at any point during our treatment and your dog’s comfort and safety remains the priority throughout their session with us. As qualified canine physiotherapists and hydrotherapists, we combine our skills to offer a multi-disciplined approach to rehabilitation.
Veterinary physiotherapy is focussed upon restoring, promoting and maintaining function and physical wellbeing. It is an evidence-based discipline which improves performance and promotes healing. It can be used post-surgery or after injury, to manage ongoing musculoskeletal or orthopaedic conditions, or as a maintenance programme to prevent tightness and tenderness affecting locomotion and performance.
Working in warm water provides a non-weight bearing, proprioceptively-enriched environment which, when combined with therapeutic handling and physiotherapy techniques, can have a radical impact on a rehabilitation programme or when managing ongoing musculoskeletal, orthopaedic or neurological conditions. We are very lucky to have both a pool and an underwater treadmill and therefore can choose the modality to best target specific patient needs.
We have a range of electrotherapies, including class 3b laser therapy and pulsed magnetic field therapy, to provide pain relief and optimize healing conditions where applicable. Your therapist can provide more details about how each modality works and where its application may be beneficial.
Why do we need referral from your vet?
As per the Vet Surgeon’s Act 1966, we only provide therapy once we have had consent from your vet that they are happy for us to do so. Veterinary referral or delegation is a legal requirement for registered veterinary physiotherapists and hydrotherapists, which safeguards your dog by ensuring both the vets and us have all the information needed to provide the appropriate therapy programme. We keep in touch with our referring vets and provide regular progress reports to promote clear lines of communication to the benefit of the canine patient.
Please note that unfortunately we are currently unable to take on any new referrals. Full update available on our Home page.
What to expect in your visit
Your dog’s rehab programme will be individually tailored to suit his or her needs and will include either or both physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. Not only is the therapy provided specific to your dog’s diagnosis, it is also tailored to their condition on the day of treatment. Just like us, our dogs have good and bad days so your dog will not have the same treatment each session but a totally unique plan based on a full re-assessment on the day. We will also provide you with advice on managing your dog’s mobility at home and, if appropriate, a home programme of exercises to support rehab goals between sessions. Further support with home exercises is provided via Conditioning Your Canine, our online platform where you can access videos of your dog’s unique exercise programme with helpful tips for how to complete these safely and correctly.
Big Dogs: In cases of very heavy dogs or dogs with very compromised mobility it may be necessary to have two therapists in the pool with your dog and there is an additional charge for this service. Please call to discuss further.
Toys in the Pool: Ingesting too much water can prove fatal for dogs. A particular activity that puts your dog at greater risk of this condition is taking toys directly off the water line. Because of this, whilst we may use toys to help motivate your dog, we will not allow them to scoop them off the waterline in to their mouths. For this reason we ask that you not to bring your own dog’s toy, we have a range of safe toys on offer if a little more motivation is required!
Jackets: Each dog will be fitted with an appropriate jacket for water based work either with or without floatation depending on your dog’s mobility.
Solo Swim: Due to the focused nature of the work we do there will only ever be one dog in the pool per session.
Therapist: Your dog will always be accompanied by a therapist in the pool or underwater treadmill in order to ensure safety and to be able to deliver individually tailored therapeutic techniques throughout.
Shower Work: Showering is an essential part of the water based treatment programme both at the start and the end. It helps prepare the dog musculoskeletally and neurologically for the treatment ahead and also has important hygiene benefits.
Drying: After your dog’s hydrotherapy session we will gently towel dry your dog. We do not use grooming dryers as these can set off reflexive muscle contractions which is counterproductive to the treatment they have just received. We also find that many dogs are anxious or noise sensitive to this equipment. As a result, we will get your dog as dry as possible using towels. It is a good idea to have a towel or blanket for the car journey home. Dogs that are older or very sensitive to the cold may also benefit from having a jacket to wear after a treatment session.
Each consultation includes a full assessment, physiotherapy and/or hydrotherapy treatment (as appropriate), and an updated home programme. Sessions are charged at £70 (price inclusive of VAT) and usually last 45-50 minutes. Your pet insurance policy may cover physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. Please check with your insurance provider.
When you come to your first appointment, you will be asked to read two documents – we have made these available below if you wish to read these in advance.