Picture: Murphy, 12 yrs, loves his fortnightly swims for DJD
Hydrotherapy utilises the properties of water; hydrostatic pressure, resistance, buoyancy, viscosity, cohesion, turbulence and water temperature to work together to achieve a safe and enriching environment to aid your dog's rehabilitation, return to function and overall fitness. The property of 'buoyancy' reduces weight bearing forces on painful or weak joints aiding the movement of weak limbs which may be too difficult or painful on land.
Additional benefits of hydrotherapy are:
Here at Kernow Paws we have both an underwater treadmill and a hydrotherapy pool which are heated to 30 - 32 degrees centigrade. This is the optimum temperature to promote circulation and healing. Both the pool and treadmill are sanitised daily to maintain a clean and relaxing environment for your dog.
Detailed records of each session are kept for every patient to monitor progress and provide evidence of treatment to insurance companies if required. After a patient's first 10 sessions are completed a report is sent to the referring veterinarian reporting their progress. From then, if a patient continues on a maintenance programme, communication with vets remains open for discussion on any changes, good or bad, with that patient.
The underwater treadmill allows the therapist to change the depth of the water to control buoyancy and the amount of weight that is put through the patient's limbs. We can also vary the speed of the treadmill belt to encourage correct gait patterning through the water and use an incline on varying degrees depending on the patient's requirements.
A therapist will accompany your dog in the hydrotherapy treadmill to provide a safe and therapeutic experience whilst introducing them to the movement of the underwater belt.
Picture Above: Sally, 13yrs, focussing hard!
Picture above: Molly always gives 100%
Our 2 x 4m hydrotherapy pool offers ramp entry and exit that is guided by the therapist to ensure a safe and theraputic experience at all times. Our skilled therapist will accompany your dog in the hydrotherapy pool and use different techniques to ensure a beneficial and safe treatment session
Swimming offers zero weight bearing and, as well as enabling all the benefits from a medical perspective e.g. range of movement, increased circulation etc, the relief from pain encourages the patient to relax and enjoy the experience. Most elderly patients really appreciate the opportunity to play at the same time as working on their fitness and strength. Even those who historically weren't keen on water!
Kobie aged 17
Rehab after surgery
Buddy aged 14
On your initial appointment we will discuss your dog's health, exercise and general daily routine. Your dog's gait and a hands on examination will be carried out and a recording on our Stance Analyser will be taken if appropriate.
Once those steps have been taken, your dog will be dressed in one of our harnesses and showered (with warm water) to remove any mud or debris. The therapist will then guide your dog up the ramp and down into the pool. Time is taken for the patient to take in its surroundings before being encouraged into the pool to swim for a short period of 20-30 seconds before returning to the ramp to rest and process what is being asked. The patient will be asked to repeat these short swims 2 or 3 times more before being guided out of the pool and showered again. It is extremely important that this initial session is kept short and pleasant for the patient so it's able to build trust with the therapist and enjoy future sessions. As the patient gains confidence and strength with each session so the length of time the patient is swimming increases.
As with the pool, the patient wears one of our harnesses and is showered before entering the treadmill. At first the dog is asked to walk through the treadmill so it learns there is an 'In and Out' door. Then the doors are closed with the dog and the therapist inside and the therapist fills the tank to the appropriate level for treatment . The dog is asked to walk up and down to get the feel of walking through the water and to keep it occupied whilst it fills. Once the correct level is reached the belt is started very slowly and the dog encouraged to move forward. As the dog relaxes the belt is quickened to the optimum speed. Many dogs pick this up very quickly, however, walking times are limited to 1 minute and only 3-4 sets are completed before the treadmill is emptied and the dog is able to exit, have a shower and a good think about what just happened! Again as the dog improves the length of time it walks, speed and incline are increased as required.
The initial session will take approximately 60 - 90 minutes.
Owners are advised that a course of 10 sessions will provide a good period for muscle mass, fitness and strength to increase.
Individual treatments are £30 or you can buy a course of 10 for £270.