Physiotherapy can be hugely beneficial in speeding up recovery for your pet. Instinctively animals will often try and hide discomfort or pain, which causes them to compensate and overwork other muscles and joints. Physiotherapy is a hands on technique, which is non-invasive and compliments veterinary treatment and hydrotherapy. Treatment can be by one or a number of methods. Release of muscles spasms and trigger points, combined with massage are done with the hands, but we also make use of therapy machines such as phototherapy (laser), ultrasound, pulsed magnetic therapy and muscle stimulators, where appropriate.
Muscle strain injuries can often cause reduced performance in dogs and physiotherapy will speed up the healing process, following which a programme of exercises will help prevent re-occurrence.
Whether your pet is recovering from surgery, suffering from arthritis, or is a working dog, we will show you exercises and massage to benefit your pet, which you can carry out in the comfort of your own home. The programme of treatment will be adapted to suit the needs of each animal and often works best in conjunction with hydrotherapy.
The pool is 6m x 4m so it is ideal for free swimming and retrieving toys which maximises the benefit of hydrotherapy as well as providing plenty of mental stimulation for your dog.
The pool is heated to 28degrees C and the water is continually filtered and cleaned. It is sanitised to human standards with bromine, which is less harsh on your pet’s skin than chlorine. The water quality is checked and recorded at least twice per day.
There is a ramp up to the edge of the pool and another into the pool, both with non-slip surfaces, making entry and exit easy for injured or older dogs.
As well as the medical benefits swimming is also fun for the dogs and increases the dog’s mental stimulation, which is of particular benefit for dogs on restricted exercise, or dogs with behavioural issues.
Prior to entering the pool your dog will be given a health check and then showered with warm water to remove any debris and to acclimatise the body and warm up the muscles.
After the swim your dog will be rinsed off with warm water and towel dried. There is a dryer which you are welcome to use.
Notes are always recorded regarding the swim so that your pet’s recovery programme can be monitored and adjusted accordingly.
The first session in the pool gives us a benchmark for their next appointment. At the first session we might only do 1 lap of the pool, or we might do 5, it all depends on the patient’s response and their condition. Being in a pool is very different to being in a muddy pond when the bottom can’t be seen!
Each patient responds differently to hydrotherapy, some are quite a challenge and this is definitely one of the reasons we love our job so much, especially when we have cats at the centre.
The aquatic treadmill allows specialist hydrotherapy treatment, conditioning and training in a safe professional environment and greatly improves recovery times.
As with the pool, the water is 28degrees C and sanitised to human standards with bromine.
The dogs can enter the treadmill from one end and exit from the other, so they don’t have to either turn round or back out, which is the case with single door treadmills.
For healthy dogs the treadmill can be used to increase fitness and stamina, while for injured dogs, or post-operative dogs it is extremely beneficial in making the transition from water to dry land by gradually increasing the load on the affected limb.
The treadmill has glass sides enabling the hydrotherapist to view all aspects of the dog and assess the animals gait, range of motion, stance time and stride length.
The water level can be raised or lowered, as can the speed of the treadmill. Altering the level of the water allows the therapist to target flexion and extension of the joint. It is beneficial in re-educating the gait following surgery or injury, especially in cases of cruciate repairs and patella correction.
Acupuncture is one of the oldest methods of Chinese medicine. It can be used in pets, just like in humans, to help pain management amongst other things.
Just like in humans, pets have acupuncture points located on meridians or channels across the body and these can be stimulated using needles..
Acupuncture is especially useful for conditions such as arthritis, nerve damage, ligament and tendon injuries, muscle spasm and tension, back and neck problems and many more..
Each acupuncture session lasts approximately 45 minutes and most pets usually relax with the positioning of needles. Please contact the centre for more information or to book your dog in for an acupuncture session with Heidi.