Hydrotherapy has been in use for centuries as a form of health promotion and rehabilitation for humans and, more recently, animals. One of the leading locations for canine hydrotherapy and rehabilitation is Cotswold Dog Spa, on the campus of Hartpury College in the UK. A 5 year-old Labrador stands, and now runs, as living testament to the value of this type of program.
Poppy arrived at the facility paralyzed due to a condition called Polyradiculoneuritis, an autoimmune disease where the nervous system is attacked by the immune system itself.
Water is an ideal rehabilitation environment the body remains buoyant through the exercise and has no stress or strain placed onto the joints. This allows for free movement making it highly conducive to anyone, human or animal, with physical challenges and limitations.
Poppy went through 6 months of intensive physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. First she moved a paw. Then another. Then she began to swim and, as she grew stronger, came her ability to walk. With the love, support, and dedication of her owners and everyone involved in her recovery, Poppy now walks, runs, and has a complete dog’s life.