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What is hydrotherapy?

Originally referred to as ‘water cure’, it continues to be used today to treat a wide variety of conditions.

In the treatment of humans and animals, hydrotherapy uses the physical properties of water to aid in the strengthening and re-education of the limbs. The buoyancy of the water decreases the impact on weight-bearing areas of the body, which can reduce pain, allow greater range of movement and ease stiff joints all without the use of drug medication.

How does hydrotherapy work?

Water supports the dog, taking pressure off of injured or painful areas. The slow movement of limbs in water also protects against further injury or strain. Combined, these are powerful elements of physical therapy that would not be possible for dogs that are constrained by debilitating conditions or injuries.

In addition to the aspect of physical therapy, the process can also be used as a medium for the delivery of heat or cold to the body. The warmth of the water can increase flexibility and mobility and allows the muscles to relax. It also promotes circulation, which can aid the healing process.

Hydrostatic forces of the water can help to reduce inflammation of injured joints, therefore providing pain relief.

The increased resistance caused by walking through the water in turn builds muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.

What does hydrotherapy help to treat?

Hydrotherapy can help in the treatment of chronic conditions, post-operative recovery and general fitness in dogs. Conditions that respond well, or are managed by hydrotherapy include:

• Arthritis

• Muscle injuries

• Hip dysplasia

• Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD)

• Chronic degenerative radiculomyelophathy (CDRM)

• Luxating patella

• Cruciate or other ligament injuries or strains

• Spinal conditions

• Tendon and ligament disorders

• Obesity

It can also aid greatly in post-procedural recovery from stem cell therapy.

Referral process

Greenside Regenerative Therapies & Rehabilitation, which is housed in a state-of-the-art unit completed in the Spring of 2017, is led by Director Andrew Armitage BSc BVM&S MRCVS, with support from his skilled team including a full time Level 3 qualified hydrotherapist. Alongside specialist diagnostic equipment, including gate and stance analysis, digital thermal imaging and musculoskeletal ultrasound, the unit boasts an underwater treadmill, which fills from the floor upward in order to aid the entry of lame or geriatric dogs and reduce the anxiety involved with ramps or lifts.

Referrals should be made through a client’s existing vet, although direct enquiries will be answered promptly.


£50 per session

A 10% discount applies when ten or more sessions are block booked.

Please note that many insurance carriers will cover hydrotherapy. Refer to your policy terms and conditions for more information.

To arrange a referral appointment, please get your veterinary surgeon to complete a referral form, which can be downloaded from our website and send it to us by email along with relevant clinical records and radiographs.