Dogs will soon be able to take a doggy paddle with a difference — when Tay Valley Vets opens Tayside’s first hydrotherapy pool for pooches.
Construction has begun on the pool and, when complete, it will provide treatments for a range of canine ailments, including arthritis and obesity.
Harvey Carruthers, Partner, noted how the demand for the service has grown in the area. He said: “We already run a pain clinic offering services such as acupuncture, and receive referrals from other vets. This, in effect, will be an extension of that service and there is already a demand.”
Harvey said he hoped the facility would be completed by the end of Spring, and would open in Summer 2015. He continued: “Hydrotherapy can provide an alternative to medication for dogs that would normally require pain relief.
If a dog sustains an injury, it only takes three days before its muscles can start to waste. If the dog has arthritis – a condition that working dogs are particularly susceptible to – it may shift its weight to other legs, which can cause further problems. Hydrotherapy can help to relieve this.”
The hydrotherapy service will be available for around £20–25 a session, though prices are still to be finalised.
The pool in Perth will be the first of its kind to be built by a private vet in Scotland. Harvey added that Scotland was catching up with England, where the use of hydrotherapy is much more common: “Of course, the service has to sustain itself, but this is more than offering a service for dogs and allowing owners to keep them fit and healthy.”
Canine hydrotherapy involves placing the dog into a pool and having them perform a number of exercises to help relieve pain associated with chronic conditions. It can also be used for surgical recovery and as a way to improve the general fitness of a dog.
Hydrotherapy has been a common treatment for horses for a number of centuries but has only recently become popular for dogs. Alternative treatments for animals have also become more widespread, including homoeopathy and herbal treatments.