Yes, unless your animal is completely healthy and being seen for maintenance purposes, you will need to have our referral form completed and signed by your vet before treatment can commence. For more information, please see the vet referral page here.
Many insurance policies provide cover up to a set limit for complimentary treatment, which includes physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. As a member of the NAVP, Gemma is widely accepted by insurance companies as an approved therapist, making it easy to claim back the cost of treatment if this is included in your policy. Please note that payment must still be made at the time of treatment and claimed back from your insurance company afterwards. Invoice receipts will be emailed to you after each treatment session to provide to your insurance company and Gemma is happy to sign any insurance claim forms where necessary.
Ideally, the sooner the better. Whilst exercise will generally have to be limited in the early stages of recovery, physiotherapy can play a vital role in every stage of healing. In the early stages, this can be as simple as maintaining joint range of motion, minimising muscle wastage, promoting blood circulation and relaxation and reducing pain levels. Gemma can also provide advice on management of your pet post-surgery or injury.
This depends entirely on the surgery/injury, but hydrotherapy on an underwater treadmill can usually be commenced earlier on in the rehabilitation process than swimming. Some animals may benefit from simply standing in the water in the treadmill in the early stages of recovery whilst being massaged. The warmth of the water and the hydrostatic pressure can help to reduce inflammation and promote relaxation and pain relief. Furthermore, the buoyancy effect of the water can help animals to stand without the increased weight load on their limbs on dry land. As a minimum, any stitches should have been removed and open wounds healed before hydrotherapy can commence.
Gemma no longer provides a mobile physiotherapy service and all appointments now take place at the clinic. If you require mobile physiotherapy, Gemma can recommend another suitably qualified physiotherapist who provides this service.
As a general rule, no. However, for dogs attending for maintenance treatments and/or fitness and conditioning, it may be possible to schedule stand-alone underwater treadmill appointments, provided the dog is assessed to be pain-free and suitable for hydrotherapy on the day. For owners wanting to book more frequent hydrotherapy sessions alongside physiotherapy, it may also be possible to provide additional stand-alone underwater treadmill sessions. If you’d like to discuss booking your dog in for stand-alone hydrotherapy, please contact Gemma.
Many dogs can be nervous of water and we often find that the underwater treadmill is less stressful for such dogs than swimming in a pool would be. Dogs are walked onto the treadmill with the therapist and the water level will be slowly raised once they’re inside, meaning that they won’t have to walk into a pool of water and can be gradually accustomed to it. Some dogs may need several sessions to adjust to the treadmill, but hydrotherapy is always carried out at the dog’s pace and can be adjusted to suit the temperament of each dog. At first, particularly nervous dogs may only be able to tolerate very shallow water in the treadmill, for example. Treats, toys and encouragement from the owner can also be used to help comfort nervous dogs in the water.
Yes, but this depends on each individual cat’s temperament. As a general rule, cats aren’t very keen on water, but some breeds can be more accepting of water than others. The underwater treadmill can particularly benefit cats with neurological conditions in providing gait re-education and improving coordination, strength and balance.