Our rehabilitation centre offers both physiotherapy and hydrotherapy rehabilitation treatment for pets and is based less than 5 minutes drive from Bath Vet Referrals, Rosemary Lodge. To book an appointment please contact us and to find out more about the physiotherapy and hydrotherapy services that we provide please read the information below.
Hydrotherapy is the use of water to aid the rehabilitation process.
The BVR small animal rehabilitation centre uses an underwater treadmill as a vital part of particular treatment programmes. It provides partial weight bearing exercise which allows a more comfortable environment for treatment, as it reduces the stress on damaged tissues and joints.
It is a very effective way of facilitating a more normal walking pattern following an operation or lameness. It also performs assisted walking within water following a neurological or spinal problem that may have left the dog with reduced or loss of use of one or more limb. The treatment programme can be graded and easily measured since water levels and speed can be adjusted accordingly.
Muscle wastage (atrophy) will begin within a few days following an injury or period of immobilisation and it is very important to rebuild this muscle bulk as soon as possible. Sometimes, it is not appropriate or possible to begin on-land Physiotherapy and as such, Hydrotherapy can be used as a vital stepping stone to enhance the recovery and start the rehabilitation process sooner.
The properties of water mean that the water-based environment enables effective treatment and rehabilitation. For example; the buoyancy of water reduces the load through joints; the resistance of water increases strength as muscles have to work harder; the hydrostatic pressure of water reduces swelling and oedematous tissues; the therapeutic temperature (~27°C) increases circulation and therefore will improve healing times.
Why is Hydrotherapy beneficial?
- Aids pre and post-operative conditioning
- Increases range of movement of joints
- Decreases pain during exercise
- Decreases stress on healing tissues
- Aids muscle strengthening, maintenance and restoration
- Improves cardiovascular fitness
- Reduces muscle spasm and tone
- Increases speed of recovery
- Aids weight reduction
- Aids relaxation
- Improves circulation
- Decreases swelling and joint effusion
- Increases stability to unstable joints
- Improves psychological well-being/enjoyment for the animal
- Helps transition to land based exercises
Conditions that may benefit from treatment
- Post-operative recovery (e.g. after fractures, cruciate ligament repair, patella fixation, spinal surgery)
- Overweight dogs needing to reduce weight and increase fitness
- Recovery from soft tissue injuries (e.g. bicipital tendonitis, Achilles tendon problems, ligament sprains)
- Neurological problems (e.g. peripheral nerve damage, spinal problems, reduced or loss of function of 1 or more limb)
- Vascular events (e.g. FCE, TIA)
- Recovery from multiple injuries
- Dogs who are on restricted lead exercise
- Orthopaedic conditions (e.g. hip and elbow dysplasia, OCD)
- Maintenance of fitness levels (e.g. in the working, athletic, or elderly dog)
Physiotherapy is the assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal and neurological conditions.
What is Canine Physiotherapy and how can it help your dog?
Chartered Physiotherapists are highly trained to assess and treat a wide range of pathologies and are specialists in tailoring physiotherapy treatment programmes to the individual animal.
Animals, like people, respond well to Physiotherapy and it could be used following a trauma, injury, recent surgery, or it could be considered for a working or athletic animal to help them develop to their full potential and avoid injury problems.
The treatment programme will be designed to help restore any loss of movement, strength, stability and ultimately optimise the function of the dog to facilitate an enhanced recovery or to reduce the deterioration rate of a progressive pathology such as arthritis.
Physiotherapy covers a huge range of treatments
- Manual techniques e.g. joint mobilisation, massage, myofascial/soft tissue release, stretches.
- Electrotherapy e.g. ultrasound, muscle stimulation, TENS.
- Exercise prescription e.g. rehabilitation programmes, home exercise programmes, strengthening exercises, core stability exercises, proprioceptive exercises, sport specific training.
- Hydrotherapy e.g. water treadmill programme.
- Advice & education e.g. home environment assessment, handling advice, education of conditions and healing times, advice on cryotherapy/thermotherapy, long term management.
To refer a case, please click here.
If you would like to book an appointment please contact us.
Read about Sarah Nehammer our Veterinary Physiotherapist