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Referral required

All dogs need to be referred by a vet – be it for a specific reason / condition or purely a fun swim. This is because it is an offence for any person other than an owner, to treat an animal unless the permission of the vet is sought and obtained.
It is also important to remember not to feed your dog for at least 3 hours before a swim (and try and get them to pass motion before arrival) and for at least 1 hour after their swim.

First Appointment

At the first swim you will need to allow an hour. This is because we like to let the dog have plenty of time to become accustomed to the environment of the pool room, go through the veterinary referral form and have a general chat with the owner as to what their vets have advised in relation to exercise levels the dog should be carrying out and what is currently being achieved along with any clinical signs they have been witnessing (ie levels and times of lameness).

Pre Swim Health Check

At each appointment a  pre-swim health check will be carried out which checks:

Eyes –  that eyes are clear, bright and free from infection.
Ears –  that ears are clean, no obvious signs of infection or build up of wax.
Coat – that coat condition is clean and clear of open wounds / infections
Movement – observation of general movement / range of motion
Owners view – the view of the owner on the dogs condition / improvements since previous swim carried out.

Appointment Length

After the first appointment, sessions are half an hour in either the pool or the treadmill (depending upon your vets instructions) but this does not mean your dog will actually be swimming for the full half hour. Some dogs on their early swims may only be able to carry out minimal activity based on their condition, age and fitness levels. This means that the rest periods between each swimming / treadmill period are more prolonged.

Number of Appointments required

This is impossible to state. We would recommend that all dogs commence with at least 2 appointments per week for the first 3 – 4 weeks to ‘kick start’ muscle growth and recovery followed by a  reduction in number of appointments to one a week for a further period of 4+ weeks (which will be dependent upon the improvements and results achieved.). The periods between appointments can then be lengthened to fortnightly, monthly etc depending on each dogs needs or customer wishes.  Where there is major problems such as spinal injuries or paralysis then 10 appointments will not return a dog to it’s feet and a higher number of appointments will be required over a period of time.

Records and reporting

Every swim is recorded and a report prepared to keep your Vet in the picture on each dogs progress. Reports contain details of the length of each swimming session along with progress made – or alternatively any differences noted on dogs conditions  / fitness  / weight.