Hydrotherapy treatment is the use of water to provide treatment to a patient and has been used to treat people for thousands of years. In recent years the benefits have been transferred to animals by using a variety of facilities from power-showers to swimming pools to more recently, treadmills.
The short-term benefits of hydrotherapy include reducing pain, reduction of swelling in limbs, improving heart function, increasing sensory perception, the relaxation of muscle tension and spasm and an increase in the active range of motion through increased flexion and extension of the limbs.
For patients recovering from injury or surgery, the long-term benefits of hydrotherapy include an increase in joint range of movement, increased muscle strength, decreased pain and inflammation, the earlier return to normal function and the slowing of progression of degenerative disease processes with an improvement in the quality of life. The system can be used for exercise for performance animals and also as an aid to weight control.
Isabelle Vets has decided to invest in a HydrophysioTM unit which is widely agreed to be the best water treadmill on the market. With a touchscreen, programmable, workstation which can record your pet’s sessions, the Hydrotherapist will design a program specific to your animal’s needs. The glass-sided system is extra-large allowing for animals from Chihuahuas to Great Danes. The water is pre-warmed to 28-29°C and filtered to maximise comfort, hygiene and to stimulate activity and blood flow. The moving belt system has variable speeds and a unique ‘gradient’ facility. The glass sides allow your pet to interact with you. We want you involved! By varying the depth of water your pet can have traction, floatation (they get life-jackets!) or more often a combination of both.
The Hydrophysio unit has side platforms which allow the hydrotherapists to usually be in the water treadmill which is vital for health and safety but also allows them to be hands-on with the patient by providing support on joints if needed and correcting an incorrect gait. Our dedicated treatment room has a mirrored wall allowing the hydrotherapist to watch and assess the gait of your pet and build a program best suited to your pet.
Hydrotherapy has many significant and proven benefits:
We would advise you to discuss with your vet whether your dog would benefit from hydrotherapy
We are always happy to take referrals from other practices, as we feel this benefits our community, not just our clients.
I joined Isabelle Vets in May 2019 as a trainee Hydrotherapist. Since then, I have successfully completed the OCNLR level 3 certificate in Canine Hydrotherapy. Gaining my hydrotherapy qualifications encouraged me to continue my education into this field, and I am currently undertaking the OCNLR Level 4 awards in canine behaviour in the hydrotherapy setting, gait analysis and applied water treadmill techniques.
I have always had a keen interest in animals, especially dogs and I moved away from Guernsey in 2005 to complete my level 3 National Diploma in animal management at Filton College. Which is where I was lucky enough to gain a works placement at Bristol Zoo. During this time, I also lived and worked on a small working farm, mainly raising sheep.
I returned to Guernsey in 2008 and worked as a veterinary nurse assistant before leaving to start a family.
When the opportunity to join Isabelle vets, to work in their hydrotherapy unit, became available, I simply couldn’t say no.
I joined Isabelle Vets in March 2017 as part of our Hydrotherapy team. I graduated from the University of Plymouth in 2011 with a Degree in Animal Science, Behaviour & Welfare. On my return to the Island, I gained my Veterinary Care Assistant qualification while working in practice for three years. After this, I went on to study dog training to become a qualified trainer. I am also continuing to study for a certificate in ‘advance dog behaviour’.
Katie has the ABC Level 3 Certificate in Small Animal Hydrotherapy as well as extensive qualifications in animal behaviour and welfare. Katie has vast experience of canine hydrotherapy gained both in Guernsey at Isabelle Vets and for a spell with super vet Noel Fitzpatrick’s team in the UK.
Our reception team will provide you with all of the details that you will require from the time of arrival, what you need to bring, how long the session will last and post-therapy care. We are very keen for owners to be fully involved in each of the sessions to see how much your pet will benefit from this form of therapy.
Contact us for further information.