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Evaluation of the status of canine hydrotherapy in the UK
  1. M. Waining,
  2. I. S. Young, BSc, PhD and
  3. S. B. Williams, BSc, PhD
  1. School of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Crown Street, Liverpool L69 7ZJ
  1. Correspondence to Dr Williams, e-mail: sbwilliams{at}
  • Dr Williams' present address is Department of Veterinary Basic Science, Royal Veterinary College, Royal College Street, London NW1 0TU

To establish the current status of canine hydrotherapy in the UK and to ascertain information regarding the current use of hydrotherapy, a questionnaire was sent to 152 hydrotherapy centres throughout the UK, from which 89 responded. Hydrotherapy was found to be a rapidly growing business. Stand-alone centres were in existence; however, many centres were connected to other businesses, including boarding kennels and general practice veterinary surgeries. The dogs using the facility were mainly pedigree breeds, particularly labrador retrievers (30 per cent), and the most commonly encountered conditions were rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (25 per cent), hip dysplasia (24 per cent) and osteoarthritis (18 per cent). The proportion of qualified versus unqualified staff varied between centres, highlighting a need for improved regulation of this aspect of the industry. However, all the dogs treated by the hydrotherapy centres surveyed were direct veterinary referrals, suggesting a good degree of professionalism in the field and a high regard for the benefits of hydrotherapy.

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  • Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

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