Video: Veterinary nurse dips her toes into canine hydrotherapy venture

Bodie takes to the pool with Andrea Morris at the hydrotherapy pool. Photo: Bill Smith Bodie takes to the pool with Andrea Morris at the hydrotherapy pool. Photo: Bill Smith

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
3:04 PM

From arthritic Alsatians to post-surgical poodles, a veterinary nurse is hoping her new canine hydrotherapy business will get help to get four-legged friends back on their paws.

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What is hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is a Greek word meaning “water healing’’ and can be used to treat or aid:

• Arthritis and/or stiffness

• Lameness

• Weight issues

• Post surgery convalescence

• General fitness

• Recovery after injury

Pawfect Hydrotherapy is the brainchild of Andrea Morris, who discovered a passion for hydrotherapy while teaching at Easton College.

Now the 37-year-old has decided to branch out and set up her own specialist centre at Hellesdon Park Industrial Estate.

Mrs Morris, who lives in Brampton, near Aylsham, said: “It’s not a new treatment because it’s been used for humans for quite a long time. But when it first started to be used for dogs often it was just a case of swimming the dogs in the pool.

“It’s now more about a therapy treatment in the pool, lots of exercises within the pool to build core strength and massage therapies for pain relief.”

Bodie takes to the pool with Andrea Morris at the hydrotherapy pool. Photo: Bill SmithBodie takes to the pool with Andrea Morris at the hydrotherapy pool. Photo: Bill Smith

The treatment can be used for a range of conditions, including arthritis, post-surgery, weight-loss and even for performance dogs such as greyhounds or those used in dog agility demonstrations.

She said: “I require vets to complete a referral form and clients can download them from the website and take them to the vet.

“I will liaise with the vet and tell them about treatments I have performed and the progress of the dog.”

Mrs Morris assesses each dog, before giving them a shower while warming up and massaging muscles.

A ramp leads up to the purpose-built hydrotherapy pool, which is heated to 29 degrees to aid muscle relaxation, and the buoyancy of the water is used to encourage animals to start to use injured areas again without having to put their full weight on a limb.

The centre has been designed to put pooches at their ease, with a lot of use of the colour lilac, which Mrs Morris said is soothing for dogs, as well as relaxing scents.

She said: “I have always been interested in the rehabilitation of animals and so I was excited when I had the opportunity to do the hydrotherapy training.

“When I started to do it I couldn’t believe the difference it made.

“I was treating an elderly dog with arthritis and had quite low quality of life when I first started to see him.

“He attended weekly sessions and that helped him to become more active, have less pain and his quality of life improved.”

More information about the centre can be found at www.pawfecthydrotherapy.co.uk or by calling 01603 920210.

Do you have a quirky animal story? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772474 or email kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk

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