"splashy-pups-hydrotherapy" and "fit four paws" physiotherapy

Canine Hydrotherapy Association and IAAT Physiotherapy clinic

Contact details -

Muppets Canine Therapy

Unit 3

Rutland Court

161 Rutland Road


South Yorkshire

S3 9PP

07989 077519


The best way to get hold of me is through

the phone, either call or text.

The clinic is based off Rutland road about halfway up the hill on the left. It is behind the Golf Centre and spans along the court yard. It is just down the road from Challenger tyres and just opposite MVM builders yard. Pull into the car park on the downhill side of the golf center and there are plenty of parking spaces on the right hand side by the main doors.

The clinic is easy to get to from the M1 and all other routes.

I cover all areas from Rotherham to Doncaster, Sheffield to Worksop and Chesterfield to Barnsley.

You are welcome to enjoy coffee/tea while you wait and I also have a recovery room, reception and doggie shop.

Workshops and courses available

Canine massage for maintenance of older dogs

Anatomy and physiology

Advanced massage techniques for active dogs

Canine massage and the recovering dog

Canine stretching for active dogs

First aid

Pre and post event massage

Active dog performance enhancement


Basic behaviour modification

Common Questions and Answers about

Canine Hydrotherapy

Q - What is hydrotherapy ?

A - Hydrotherapy basically means "water therapy"

It is a low impact, holistic, safe and very effective form of therapy.

It involves the dog either walking or swimming in warm water whilst having some form of resistance on his movement whether its through the water alone or through being held back or by being on a moving belt. In the pool the dogs are encouraged to gently stretch out their legs while they are in effect weightless. By using a specially designed under water treadmill machine, dogs can also be encouraged to gently extend out their limbs while being supported in specific levels of water.

The resistance of the water and the hydrostatic pressure allows for a greater effect on the soft tissues and joints which promotes faster healing.

In the water, dogs naturally stretch out their legs, this stimulates the muscles, ligaments and tendons to work more efficiently. These tissues then become stronger and more supple. The joints are better supported and less stress is placed on other parts of the dogs body.

More nutrients are introduced to the damaged area and more toxins and dead cells from the injury are removed. In the Hydro-treadmill, the dogs are re educated back to a normal gait while the soft tissues are toned up and repaired.

For the benefits of hydrotherapy click on the tab "why is hydrotherapy beneficial"

Q - What sort of reasons may a dog need hydrotherapy?

A - There are many reasons why a dog may benefit from hydrotherapy. It may be as a result of a muscle tear, ligament injury or tendon strain. It may be after surgery to correct a genetic defect or a skeletal injury. It could be before surgery in order to build up muscle before operation. It may be to aid weight loss and speed up metabolism. It may be for ease of pain and increase of joint movement from arthritis. It could be for fitness improvement and maintainence.

For a list containing many of the common disorders click on the tab "why is hydrotherapy beneficial"

Q - What happens in the hydrotherapy pool?

After an initial check over your dog (for muscle tone, painful areas, surgical sites etc) I will check their heart/breathing rate and general condition.

I always take time to get to know each dog and spend a little time with them to try and get them used to me.

With nervous dogs I will let them have a walk around the pool room just so that they settle a little.

Each dog is showered before going in the pool, this also gives me time to feel the muscles, joints etc. By showering the dogs, they become climatised to the water temperature amnd also keeps the pool water clean.

All dogs wear either a float jacket or a body harness. I then go up the pool access ramp with the dog to keep them reassured that they have nothing to fear.

After walking down the ramp into the water your dog is encouraged to sit/stand on the platform in the water while they settle.

The first swim will only be for a few seconds, then your dog is brought back to the platform. This routine carries on several times which gives your dog chance to understand what is happening.

Some dogs start to enjoy the swimming straight away and want to play with toys.

Some dogs are a little more nervous and are ok with just swimming towards the ramp.

I have contact with your dog at all times and they are very safe and free from any oppotunity to damage themselves.

In the water, dogs will naturally stretch out their legs and the boyancy helps to support them where they have had surgery or have a structural disorder.

The dogs heart rate/ breathing rate etc is checked throughout the session and I can also apply some massage and muscle spasm releasing techniques.

After the session, I go up the ramp out of the pool with your dog and he goes back into the shower for a rinse off and shampoo if required.

I will go through the aftercare routine with the owners and the dogs are dried off with towels and a dryer if they are happy with it.

After a short check over once out of the shower, the dogs are free to go home and the next sessions can be booked.

Q - What happens in the hydro-treadmill?

A - The dogs are checked as above and can be introduced to the treadmill by walking right through the machine while both entry and exit doors are opened. They have a light shower, mainly just their legs and tummys and are walked into the treadmill. I will be with your dog inside the treadmill for most of the treatments to help him feel relaxed.

The doors are secured and water is introduced through the base of the machine. This water is heated to 28 degrees. Once the desired level has been reached the water is stopped and the base belt of the treadmill started to speed up. At first this belt will be moved very slowely and the dog will be encouraged to walk, just like on a treadmill in a gym. The length of time the belt will be moving and the speed will be altered as the dog becomes more used to it until the optimum levels will be reached.

The different levels of water the dog can stand in can effect the amount of weight the dog actually feels. For example, the higher the water, the more weightless the dog will feel.

The hydrostatic pressure, cohesion and resistance will all affect the dog in ways similar to the pool except that now the dog feels more cohesive forces as he is not almost fully submerged. The treatments will consist of short intervals and the times gradually increased within the dogs ability. I will be monitoring your dogs progress and well being through out the treatment. After the treatment, the dog is showered and dried.

Q - What is the difference between using a water treadmill and a therapy pool?

A - Both water treadmills and hydropools have their place in canine therapy.

One of the main advantages of the pool is that the dog is free to extend and flex his legs in a comfortable range. He will feel almost weightless so there is less pressure on healing limbs and tissues. While swimming, the dog can be encouraged to flex, extend, rotate, adduct and abduct his joints in a gentle and controlled manner. These movements are needed for the successful recovery of joints, bone, and soft tissue.

Treadmills allow for a certain amount of boyancy during the treatment. The dog is encouraged to walk due to the movement of the rolling floor. The drawing action of the belt acts to gently encourage flexion and extension of the dogs limbs while the body is partially suspended in the water. This means that there is a certain amount of weight on the dogs limbs so muscle tione can be improved and stimulated.

This can be very beneficial for dogs who are reluctant to use a limb or have problems weight bearing.

Q - Can I claim on my pet insurance?

A - As I am a full member of the Canine Hydrotherapy Association, most insurance companies will be happy to pay out under complimentory medicine.

It always helps to phone your insurance provider first and get a claim form. I can then fill the form in and give you an invoice

Q - My dog is nervous of water, will that affect his treatment?

A - No, I take special care with all the dogs who come to see me. I ensure that even the most nervous of dogs will still get the best possible treatment and will try to help them to relax as much as they can.

Q - I have agility dogs and I need to maintain their fitness during the off season period. Will hydrotherapy help?

A - Very much so, exercising in water can build up muscle tone, improve cardio-vascular ability, help to reduce the chance of injury and improve propreception and coordination.

I can design a fitness program to suit each dog whether fly-ball or agility minded. These sessions are usually around 20-30 minutes and are very popular in the winter months

Q - What happens after the session?

A - After your dog is dry I will carry out another short examination to check for any stiffness or soreness. I will then go through the aftercare with the owner and your dog can be booked in for his bext session.

The aftercare usually consists of keeping your dog warm and carrying out a couple of short and easy proceedures once you get home. Your dog usually needs a couple of hours rest after his session before a big meal and may need a short walk that evening. I will go through this all with the owner before they go home and I am always at the end of the phone if needed.

Q - When can my dog start his treatment?

A - With most dogs, treatment can start as soon as possible. This is especially true in dogs with arthritis or structural disorders such as hip dysplasia.

If your dog had had surgery, such as a cruciate ligament repair, It may be that the vet says he is ok to start treatment as soon as any external stitches have been removed.

With major surgery such as a hip replacement it may be that your dog will be ok to start hydrotherapy as soon as he has had his post surgery x-rays.

Q - Does my vet need to know?

A - I will need to see a letter of referal from you dogs vet which should explain the reason why your vet has advised hydrotherapy and also that your vet is happy to recieve feedback as the sessions progress.

Most vets have no problem with this and most surgeries will just pop a letter in the post directly to me once they have suggested hydrotherapy. Please be aware that it is against the law for anyone other than a veterinary surgeon to treat your dog without written veterinary consent from your dogs vet.

Q - What does the law state?

You - subject to the Protection of Animals Act 1911 you as the OWNER of the animal can give whatever treatment you want to your animal. That is, any treatment that does not involve intrusion into the animal's body. For example you are not entitled by Law to give your animal an injection. You are only able to give an injection if instructed to do so by your vet.

A Veterinary surgeon - this is an obvious one! Under the terms of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, a vet is legally able to give any normal veterinary treatment he or she deems appropriate to the animal in question.

Q - Can anyone else treat an animal?

Under the terms of the The Veterinary Surgery (Exemptions) Order of 1962 the only other types of therapies that can be given (by non-veterinarians) to an animal are the manipulative therapies - Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Hydrotherapy, Osteopathy.

Under this act it is illegal for any other non-veterinary therapist to treat an animal.

The only way that this type of treatment can legally be given to an animal is under direct veterinary referral. To put it bluntly, your vet must give his/her permission before manipulative therapy can be given to an animal. A vet will not give permission for any type of therapist, other than a manipulative therapist, to treat an animal.

Q - Do I need to bring anything on the sessions?

A - Not really although it is always a good idea to bring a towel for your dog to sit on on the way home and possibly a coat just to keep him warm till he gets home.

You may also want to wear a waterproof coat in case of splashes!

Q - Can I come and have a look around first?

A - Of course, just arrange a time with me and you can come along and see another dog having treatment so you can get an idea of what happens

Q - Can I stay with my dog during the session?

A - Of course, It is important that your dog remains as relaxed as possible so he will be much happier if his owner is there too.

If you have any other questions, please just e-mail or phone me