Here at Herts Canine Hemel Hempstead centre, we have a Custom-Built, specialist Canine Hydrotherapy pool, which we use to help treat a range of conditions, and assist in recovery following injury.
Mark qualified as a hydrotherapist in 2007 and has accrued 13 years of experience in treating injured, poorly and overweight dogs.
The length and frequency of treatment depends on the dog and their condition; some dogs swim for a short period, e.g. 6 months, as part of a recovery program, whereas other swim for longer periods, using hydrotherapy for ongoing management of their condition.
Below you can see before and after photos showing the effect of Hydrotherapy for rebuilding muscle. Ted, the Boxer below, had undergone surgery on his Crucial Ligament. The “after” photo was taken after just six weeks of Hydrotherapy.
Hydrotherapy is a non weight bearing form of exercise which will build muscle helping dogs with many conditions.
The most common dogs I treat suffer from – hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, weight control, tendon & ligament injuries, pre & post surgery, spinal injuries, impact injuries, trauma, limb amputation & arthritis.
Not all of the time, many owners contact me directly. If necessary I can contact your vet for the relevant medical history.
Yes, I am fully qualified & insured.
Generally a pool is better as it is totally non weight bearing.
There is a ramp at the side that most dogs are happy to use, alternatively many dogs are lifted in and out.
Truth…… NO! Not initially, many dogs are a little unsettled when they first start but grow in confidence very quickly and some learn to enjoy it quickly, most tolerate it! In fact if they are a little wary this is generally good as they swim better and they get the most out of the session. They get lots of attention during the session and after!
Yes! Absolutely I like owners to stay poolside with me the whole session.
Up to half an hour, the dog isn’t swimming all that time, they initially start for shorter times and then build up on swimming duration. After each treatment dogs are all bathed and dried off.
Most dogs (depending on their physical capability through injury or condition) will naturally ‘doggy paddle’ when in water. Some breeds are built better than others for it. Until they get the understanding I support and help them to progress.
Minimum once a week is best. Many of the dogs who swim twice a week are seen to progress better quicker. Many dogs end up staying with us for life as people see such improvements in their health and condition.
Our water is heated to 28 degrees so it relaxes the muscles as the dog swims and encourages better blood flow. Often swimming in cold water does more damage to a dog’s condition.
No, unfortunately this is not allowed as it will in no way benefit the dog and people in the pool are likely to get in the dogs way or get injured by the dog.
Unless the dog is particularly nervous or has a spinal condition I do not get in the pool with them as it negatively impacts the way that the dog swims. I have all the equipment to assist them from outside the pool.
Yes. Most pet insurance companies will contribute towards hydrotherapy.
Only one dog swims at a time.
You are welcome to bring a favourite toy that the dog can play with in the water, some dogs love this.
Appointments are available, daytime, evenings and weekends
Prices vary from £20 – £25, this depends on the breed of dog
I am passionate about the dogs that I help and personally pride myself on seeing the improvements made. I know hydrotherapy often is an on-going expense for the owners so I keep my charges to a minimum (more than half the cost of average centres!) I also take time in drying the dog off after their treatment which many centres do not do, this is so important especially for dogs with health conditions such as arthritis….. silly to get out of a warm pool to be sent outside in the cold dripping wet!