General Services


What is hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is the external use of water to enable movements of limbs without weight bearing forces.  Its name comes from a Greek word meaning water healing and it's therapeutic qualities were discovered over 5000 years ago. Hydrotherapy at All Creatures is a safe form of controlled exercise, carried out in a supervised heated pool.

Warm water has a number of properties that make it invaluable in the rehabilitation of canine and feline patients......buoyancy, heat, hydrostatic pressure and resistance to movement. Indeed many people recognise how valuable swimming can be in recovering from many human musculoskeletal problems.

Benefits of hydrotherapy for your pet

  • It relieves pain and inflammation.
  • It is soothing for many conditions.
  • It improves joint range of movement and joint hypomobility
  • It improves muscle contraction strength and tone
  • It allows muscularly challenging exercises without being painful.
  • It encourages muscle mass gain
  • It helps relax muscles It burns off a lot of calories in a short period of time, burning off fat, allowing weight reduction and control
  • It improves balance, coordination and proprioception (feeling in legs). Balance exercises are safer in water allowing earlier limb, trunk and postural training.
  • It allows better passive range of motion of joints than on land Water pressure reduces limb oedema, encourages healing and reduces complication rates It improves cardiac fitness
  • It provides extra mental stimulation for recumbent patients It improves blood and tissue fluid circulation increasing oxygen and nourishment to damaged areas It allows sports dogs a faster return to their performance sport post injury
  • It reinvigorates and revitalises your pet

Conditions that benefit from hydrotherapy

  • OCD (osteochondritis dissecans)
  • Cranial cruciate ligament rupture
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Tendon problems - supraspinatus, infraspinatus and biceps tendinopathy
  • Medial shoulder syndrome (MSS)
  • Carpal injuries
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Patellar luxation
  • Achilles' tendon damage
  • Gracilis, semitendinosis and semimembranosis myopathy
  • Many other soft tissue injuries - muscle spasms, other muscle, tendon and ligament injuries
  • Spinal injuries, intervetebral disc lesions, post spinal surgery, lumbosacral syndrome, spondylosis
  • CDRM Canine Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy
  • Fibrocartilaginous embolism
  • Post fracture repair
  • Fitness training for sports dogs, improved endurance.
  • Obesity

Why you should choose All Creatures, Limavady as your hydrotherapy centre

  • We have a large heated purpose built indoor pool - this is much more versatile than water treadmills. Some exercises such as hanging traction, figure of 8 swimming and circle swimming can simply not be performed in a water treadmill.
  • Our water temperature is maintained at an optimal 28 degrees centigrade - this is much more satisfactory for conditions like osteoarthritis which can actually be aggravated by cold water swimming in the river or sea
  • We have internal anti swim jets to create a flow of water for dogs to swim against.
  • There is a gentle sloping ramp with an easy grip surface to allow easy access into the pool and there is a platform for resting.
  • Our hydrotherapists are very hands on....they are in the pool in wet suits with your pet encouraging and aiding your pet. This is much more reassuring for your pet than in an enclosed claustrophobic water treadmill.
  • We have an extensive range of life jackets to suit all sizes of pet.
  • We work with your pet at a rate that they are comfortable with and we do not force them to do more than they want. The first session or two is usually just getting your pet used to the water and the pool...a few minutes in the water may suffice the first time.
  • Vets are on the premises at all times and liaise closely with and guide the hydrotherapists. This is not usually the case in stand alone hydrotherapy centres.
  • Our hydrotherapists are trained to monitor your pet's vital signs during the session - this is very important for elderly pets or pets recovering from surgery.
  • We maintain strict standards of hygiene with our pool. Water hygiene is managed by chlorine, a high rate sand and UV filter and a surface mounted skimmer. We test the chlorine and pH levels of the pool very regularly. Pets usually have a pre rinse before entering the pool. If your pet has vomiting, diarrhoea, a cough, eye, ear or skin infections they will not be allowed to use the pool until these symptoms have resolved.
  • We don't just say hydrotherapy helps your pet - we'll prove it to you. We will establish measurable goals for your pet's rehabilitation and formulate an individual plan for your pet. Our hydrotherapists and vets monitor a number of vital parameters which let us know that your pet is improving - these include pain scores, muscle girth measurements, body condition score and  range of motion by goniometry angles.
  • At All Creatures, it's not just a swim - we carry out traction, circle swimming, figure of 8 swimming, zig zags, games, extra stimulation with toys, floating kick board for balance exercises, leg weights and much more.
  • After the hydrotherapy session, your pet will be bathed and dried.

There is regular reassessment by the vets involved in your case.

We offer extra discounts on bulk packages for 5 or 10 sessions. Most pet insurers provide cover nowadays for this valuable form of treatment.

We offer a fun swim for healthy dogs - sure it wouldn't be fair for a healthy pet to miss out on the fun! Why not add a fun swim into your pet's regular bath and brush?....it's not really that much more expensive