Conditions that Benefit from Hydrotherapy

  • Before and after surgery
  • Arthritis-reduces pain and increases mobility
  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia- especially useful for young dogs who are restricted to lead exercise
  • CDRM – Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy
  • Spinal injuries
  • Paralysis (Paraplegia, Quadraplegia, Hemiplegia)
  • Recovering from injuries-including fracture, soft tissue and neurological damage
  • Cruciate ligament injuries and post operative recovery
  • Muscle strengthening, maintenance and restoration
  • Relief of pain, swelling and stiffness
  • Relaxation of muscle spasms
  • Cardiovascular fitness (heart and lungs)
  • Obesity (weight loss in conjunction with diet)
  • Mental well being
  • Dogs on cage rest or restricted lead only walks
  • Elderly dogs
  • Young active dogs on restricted exercise
  • Fitness and Stamina for working dogs

Pre and Post Operative Conditioning

  • Used by vets either to increase muscle bulk or to aid as part of a weight-loss program before surgery as the ability to gain the ideal weight then is better than after surgery when the dog is less mobile.
  • Beneficial for the dog to be as fit as possible before surgery and swimming is ideal way to increase cardiovascular and general fitness especially if the
    dog is on restricted exercise.
  • Hydrotherapy is intended to be part of a post operative program and the benefits are gained quicker if the dog is already accustomed to us as
    not all dogs are relaxed for the first time in the water.
  • Hydrotherapy reduces inflammation and mobility is regained without putting unnecessary stress on the joints. Fitness can also be gained safely and quickly.


  • Is a condition involving the degeneration of cartilage and fluid around the joint surfaces resulting in joint inflammation. It is a slowly progressive disease which starts with almost undetectable discomfort and may progress to the point where the animal is in such pain that he is reluctant to walk, get up and eat.
  • Hydrotherapy is a non weight bearing exercise that allows exercise without pressure on the joints. The soothing effect from the warm water encourages more fluid movement of the joints leading to decreased levels of pain, increased range of motion and sometimes reduced medication.

Hip/Elbow Dysplasia

  • Degenerative conditions where the joints have developed abnormally. These ball and socket joints become malformed and unstable causing inflammation and weakness. Depending upon the severity it can lead to arthritis.
  • Hydrotherapy is beneficial for all dogs affected.
    They can burn excess energy and keep fit and well-muscled in a non-weight bearing environment to prevent further damage to their joints.
  • If it is treated surgically hydrotherapy encourages
    joint mobility and stabilises the joint through building up muscle mass quickly and safely so it is a very effective management of hip dysplasia in conjunction
    with regular medication and dietary supplements.
    Chronic degenerative Radiculomyelopathy (CDRM)
  • Degenerative disease leading to muscle wasting
    of the hind limbs.
  • Painless, slowly progressive rear limb weakness or paralysis caused by neurological degeneration. There may be discomfort due to the arthritis in the hip or lower back but this usually improves with moderate non-weight bearing exercise such as swimming.
  • Exercise is one of the main factors in managing the treatment of a dog with CDRM. Regular exercise is extremely important in maintaining the well being of the dog and maximising muscle tone and circulation.
  • Hydrotherapy is an ideal form of exercise to help maintain muscle bulk for as long as possible and improve fitness. Dogs that need to be carried or supported on land really enjoy the freedom of a large pool which here we can offer. Movement of all four limbs in water and the ability to play are vital ingredients for maintaining co-ordination and balance.
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  • Dogs that are overweight suffer from numerous problems including stiffness arthritis and breathing difficulties. In conjunction with a calorie controlled
    diet hydrotherapy can be used to successfully reduce weight and increase cardiovascular fitness quickly and safely.


  • Elderly dogs that have become stiff and arthritic appear to have a new lease of life in the pool as they realise they can have a bit of fun and exercise without being in as much pain due to the non-weight bearing exercise.

Spinal Injuries

  • When a dog has suffered spinal injury or had surgery it is advisable to restore movement gently and steadily. Hydrotherapy is an ideal way to exercise as the warm soothing water encourages movement and gentle massage and stretching of the limbs in the water will encourage circulation. It also improves circulation and encourages mobility without putting pressure on the spine and joints. Following spinal injury it is vital that exercise is controlled and the dogs movement is restricted and supported.

Cruciate Ligament Injuries

  • A rupture of the cranial ligament is one of the most common orthopaedic injuries in dogs.

  • After surgery most surgeons recommend short lead walks only for at least 6 weeks. However non weight bearing exercise such as Hydrotherapy can be extremely beneficial during the period as many dogs will not use the affected leg on ground but will freely extend it in the water. The gentle stretching of the muscles and ligaments in the water encourages increased mobility of the joint.