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Physiotherapy or Hydrotherapy? Which one is best for my dog?

Latest News Tags: dog hydrotherapy, dog physiotherapy, veterinary physiotherapy

If your dog is suffering with an injury, or having problems with general fitness, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy offer real improvements in your dog’s mobility and quality of life.

Veterinary Physiotherapy
Veterinary Physiotherapy can rehabilitate and improve an animal’s ability to move and function. Veterinary physiotherapists use their knowledge of anatomy and physiology, animal structure and movement and medical conditions to treat animals with a variety of conditions.

Veterinary Physiotherapy includes:

  • Massaging
  • Stretching
  • Weight bearing exercises
  • Laser therapy
  • Cold and heat therapy

These help:

  • relieve pain
  • reduce inflammation
  • increase circulation
  • aid tissue repair
  • strengthen muscles

Physiotherapy aims to stimulate the healing process by encouraging your pet to use the weakened, painful areas and rebuild much needed muscle to support the limbs and back. This improves their mobility and quality of life.

When to choose Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy should be chosen as the primary therapy following:

  • injuries (e.g. fall, road traffic accident)
  • surgery (e.g. cruciate / patella repairs / spinal surgery / hip and elbow surgery)
  • flare up of inflammation in dogs with chronic conditions (elbow / hip dysplasia and arthritis)
  • muscle loss
  • lameness
  • elderly dogs

What is Hydrotherapy?
Simply put, hydrotherapy is the use of water for the treatment of illness or injury. In the pool, the dog is effectively weightless when carrying out controlled exercise. Hydrotherapy acts by encouraging a full range of joint motion, thus improving muscle tone without imposing undue stress on damaged tissues.

Hydrotherapy is used to treat a range of conditions in dogs including:

  • Muscle loss
  • Arthritis
  • Spinal problems
  • Recovery from surgery
  • Dysplasia

WitsEnd has it’s own specialist hydro-pool which is fully equipped with non-slip ramps, buoyancy aids, toys, washing and drying equipment.  The pool is chlorinated for hygiene and heated to a comfortable temperature of 27 degrees. A fully qualified and experienced animal physiotherapist undertakes all of the sessions.

Benefits of Hydrotherapy

  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Increases the range of movement in stiff joints
  • Stimulates muscle growth
  • Builds fitness
  • Stimulates the dog’s wellbeing

Physiotherapy should be used as a complementary therapy before hydrotherapy if your dog suffers from:

  • lameness
  • excessive muscle loss
  • painful tissues and joints
  • a poor walking action

We aim to reduce inflammation and pain by supplementing optimum hydrotherapy time with exercises and physiotherapy at home. We can teach you how to walk, handle and exercise your pet to strengthen muscles and joints prior to and during hydrotherapy.

At WitsEnd, Dr Shahad Mohammed provides veterinary physiotherapy sessions for dogs. He is a fully qualified veterinary physiotherapist with over 12 years of experience and a member of the National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists.

To find out more about how physiotherapy can help your dog, please click here:, email us on [email protected], or alternatively call us on 0116 244 2455.

Dr Shahad Mohammed
Veterinary Physiotherapist
National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists
Dr Shahad Mohammed