Facilities & What to Expect
Chingford Hydrotherapy Centre is equipped with a large 14 foot diameter round pool that allows the optimal exercise of any size or breed of dog.
The state of the art round pool offers significant advantages to the patient, such as the ability to exercise one side of the body more than the other and the avoidance of undercurrents ensuring the patient swims against a consistent force. Anti-swim jets are built in to enable the adjustment of water flow and direction to meet the individual requirements of each case. There is an electronic hoist ideal for non-ambulatory patients or dogs that prefer this to the non-slip entrance / exit ramps. There is a resting platform in the pool, underwater lighting to help with observation and flexible guide poles on hand. All patients are provided with a comfortable buoyancy aid (life jacket) that fits under the chin and helps keep the head well above water. A range of swimming caps is also available for longer eared patients. Owners are welcome to bring their own toys along for their pets; however there is a plentiful supply at the pool.
Chingford Hydrotherapy Centre is maintained to the highest standards of safety and comfort for our patients. Water is kept at an ambient 27-30ºC, and chlorine is kept to a minimum by using an in-built ozonator which reduces bacterial levels. Water quality is checked several times a day to ensure the correct temperature, chemical and pH balance is being maintained by the heating, sanitisation and filtration systems that have been installed. Owners are encouraged to watch the sessions and before and after each swim dogs are given a warm shower, and are dried with a ‘blaster’ hair dryer or towels before going home. It’s a good idea to bring a towel for the journey home as some dogs may still be a bit damp.
What to Expect
Your initial session will last for approximately an hour. This allows your dog to become familiar with the pool area, settle in and get to know us. A detailed case history will be taken and your dog will be assessed to enable us to tailor an individual plan to suit your pet’s needs. Each dog is showered before entering the pool and then fitted with a buoyancy aid. At the first few sessions your dog may only swim for a few minutes as hydrotherapy is physically and mentally demanding. The life jacket is worn until dogs are confident and swimming well, after this a special harness will be worn.
Underwater jets will be introduced when your dog is adequately fit and requiring additional resistance in the water. Owners often become involved with sessions, encouraging and playing with their dogs whilst they swim, therefore getting splashed a lot is to be expected. In fact, many owners comment that they themselves are noticeably fitter from all the running around the outside of the pool!
Full case notes are kept and after every session the patient’s body weight and cardiovascular system are checked. Muscle mass measurements are also taken to assess and monitor progress. Our aim is to ensure your pet’s experience is enjoyable and to allow a trusting bond to develop. This will enable your dog to benefit from the best exercise regime possible and see their treatment as a positive and fun experience.
Please do not feed your dog for at least four hours prior to swimming.