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Rehabilitation Centre

Hydrotherapy & laser therapy for dogs in Dublin

What is Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is more that just swimming at the beach or in a lake. It involves a lot of physiotherapy, practised knowledge and water massage as well as soft, gentle exercise promoting healthy joint movement, fitness and weight loss if required. It is a safe, controlled swimming environment in warm, clean water. Our pool is heated to a specific temperature for rehabilitation. Swimming in a hydrotherapy pool allows the muscles to work more efficiently. Cold water constricts blood vessels close to the skin restricting blood flow to the muscles.

Many dogs come to our pool once their therapy course is completed for the sheer enjoyment of it. It becomes a fun alternative to regular exercise for many pets!

What kind of Hydrotherapy is used in Shenick?

Our large open pool allows your dog to swim naturally – there is no artificial current to swim against. Your dog is able to enter and exit the water via a non-slip ramp or stairs. A greater range of motion is achieved by deep water swimming like our pool. Swimming in a deep water pool is completely non-weight bearing, compared to underwater treadmills where there is still contact with a surface. Using the injured limb in the pool helps dogs to regain the confidence to use the limb on land.

How long is each session?

Each hydrotherapy session lasts about 30minutes. During your first session your pet may not swim for the whole 30minutes and will be introduced to the pool at their own pace. Some pets (especially those recovering from surgery) may take some time before they spend the whole 30 minute session in the pool. Outside of the pool the hydrotherapist will continue to use massage and physiotherapy on your pet to stimulate blood flow, increase their range of movement and promote muscle relaxation. You will also be shown techniques for you to use at home.

Remember that 15 minutes of swimming is equivalent to 1 hour of running! But without the hard impact on your pets joints.

Do I need to be referred by a vet?

If your pet is coming for rehabilitation and has not attended any of Shenick clinic before, yes, we will require a vet referral. Luckily as our veterinary staff are also on site referral forms are not required for any cases that have been registered already in our practice. Vet referral forms for any pet not seen by our Veterinary staff can be requested from our Skerries reception or via our contact form on this website. These forms can be printed out and taken in to your vet to fill out.

How many sessions does my pet need?

This depends entirely on the condition of your pet and the type of rehabilitation required. For pets recovering from orthopaedic surgery your pet may need twice weekly sessions for a couple of weeks then once a week until their rehabilitaion is complete. Senior pets and Overweight pets visit usually once every 1-2 weeks for mobility, weight loss or just for some fun! But this will be organised between your therapist and Vet to best suit your pet.

Will there be other animals in the pool with my pet?

No, we only allow one pet in the pool at a time for safety reasons and for your pet to get 100% attention from the Hydrotherapist. You and your pet will have exclusive use of the pool for your allotted appointment time. We do not allow multiple pets from the same family to visit the pool together for the same reasons.

To arrange an appointment or send a query please email contact rehabteam@shenickvets.ie

Meet the Rehab Centre Team

Erica Wade

After working in a dog friendly cafe in her local area for one year, Erica began to gather her dog handling skills, While she was working in the cafe on weekends, she also studied animal science level 5 FETAC course for one year. From growing up around a lot of different animals in her family home, Erica has found her passion for working with animals. 

Erica has been working in the veterinary industry for 4 years as a 'Veterinary Assistant'  Before starting working in our Rehabilitation centre,  She also worked in a boarding kennels and a cattery as part of her job for a year and a half.  Erica has gathered skills and knowledge that is valuable to the rehabilitation centre.

Erica has been trained in using the MLS Class 4 Laser Therapy Machine which is widely used both in the veterinary and healthcare sector globally. This rehabilitation process has been successful and Erica has achieved high results using this machine along with supporting clients throughout the entire process. She has a very strong interest in wound care using wound needling along with the laser machine.

Currently, Erica is studying Canine Hydrotherapy with an accredited clinical educator, Barbara Houlding in K9HS which is based in England.

Catherine O'Grady

Catherine is a fully qualified Level 3, Hydrotherapist in our Rehabilitation Centre. Catherine has studied Canine Hydrotherapy in England with Barbara Houlding in K9HS. Before Catherine joined the rehabilitation centre, she has always had passion in helping animals all her life.

She grew up surrounded by many animals and developed a passion for taking care of animals, especially her own two horses. Her journey began of really helping animals after 4 years of working in an early years playschool, She decided that she had more passion looking after animals that needed her help during their rehabilitation time.  This was down to her horse who was diagnosed with severe arthritis and her cat who had a major surgery on his leg in the space of one year. This experience taught her a lot as she learned animal owners are not aware about animals rehabilitation time. This led her to volunteer and work alongside with a fully qualified hydrotherapist during her free time and have more of an understanding about the anatomy of animals and the process they undertake while recovering from a serious injury/surgery. She used up her life savings and bagged herself a certificate in Canine Hydrotherapy alongside with Englands well known Physiotherapist and Hydrotherapist, Barabara Houlding.

Since she has joined the Rehabilitation Team in 2020, Catherine has already done training in using the MLS Class 4 laser Therapy Machine and supported both animals and owners through the process. She also has a diploma in Canine Massaging which she achieved a year after working at our rehabilitation centre. Catherine is now currently studying a level 4, Canine Hydrotherapy with K9HS, Barabara Houlding so she can deliver the best of the best hydrotherapy service for our canine patients. 

Before you book an appointment with the Rehabilitation Centre, please download the Veterinary Referral Consent Form for your vet to sign.

Download the Referral Consent Form