Rehabilitation Centre

Physiotherapy Service

Chartered physiotherapists examine movement and posture. Their expertise is developed by having an in depth knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics, pathology and physiology which enables them to assess and treat injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Fiona Doubleday is our resident Chartered Physiotherapist. She has a human BSc (hons) degree in physiotherapy and post graduate training in veterinary physiotherapy. She is a category A member of ACPAT (The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy) which provides full insurance for the treatment of animals using physiotherapy.

The aim of physiotherapy is to reduce pain, swelling and muscle spasm. It helps to encourage healing and improve range of movement, prevents secondary complications, enhances and/or maintains function.

Examples of conditions treated:

  • post orthopaedic surgery cases
  • spinal pain
  • tendon and ligament muscle strains
  • muscle atrophy
  • nerve damage
  • arthritic stiffness

Physio treatment is an adjunct to veterinary treatment, not a substitute. At Fitzpatrick Referrals we have a good working relationship with all the members of the multidisciplinary team i.e. vets/ physios/ nurses/ hydro team, all working together to achieve optimum recovery for our patients. We treat patients as inpatients and then follow up once discharged with outpatient appointments. We are also available for direct physiotherapy referrals without the need to see one of our vets first.

Hydrotherapy Pool

We have a large purpose-built hydrotherapy pool with a long sloping ramp for easy access for dogs of all sizes and our patients are accompanied by hydrotherapy assistants in the water at all times. We find hydrotherapy to be a very useful tool in the rehabilitation of dogs and cats with a variety of orthopaedic problems, for post-operative recovery, to ease arthritis, to increase mobility generally and as an integral part of a weight loss programme. We have been swimming cats successfully now for several years and find it can be a useful adjunct to the physiotherapy they would normally receive following surgery.

  • Physiotherapy and hydrotherapy sessions combined where appropriate
  • Integrated approach
  • Large indoor heated pool, shower and drying facilities
  • Hydrotherapy assistants in pool at all times
  • Any size of dog can be accommodated in our pool
  • Long sloping ramp to ease access and reduce stress when introducing animals to water
  • Sympathetic, calm approach to care
  • We now regularly swim cats with excellent results
  • All patients swim individually with one or two therapists in the water
  • Hydrotherapy sessions available – daytime, evenings and weekends
  • Post-operative boarding facilities and intensive rehabilitation available for direct referrals
  • Specific exercise regime formulated for each patient as appropriate

Veterinary Acupuncture

Dietrich Graf von Schweinitz BSc DVM MRCVS Cert Vet Ac (IVAS)

Acupuncture has gained increasing recognition as a useful adjunct to modern medicine in animals as well as people. Under UK law animal acupuncture may only be administered by appropriately qualified veterinary surgeons.

Dietrich Graf von Schweinitz on Blue PeterDietrich has published several papers on acupuncture including in the peer reviewed international journal, Acupuncture in Medicine. As Past President of the Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists and former board member of the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society he is actively involved.

in the practice, promotion and teaching of acupuncture. In 2008 he appeared on Blue Peter to perform acupuncture on Lucy.

What Conditions May Respond To Acupuncture

Most chronic conditions can be treated, for example:

  •  Chronic pain from any origin; spinal or nerve damage
  •  Behavioural problems (often linked to pain)
  •  Chronic digestive disturbances
  •  Chronic respiratory disease
  •  Fatigue syndromes, Chronic eye disease
  •  Heart, liver, and urogenital diseases; incontinence

A Dog receiving Acupuncture treatment at Fitzpatrick ReferralsWhile the traditional theories explaining acupuncture are sometimes expressed in terms of balancing energy in meridians, there is a more medically competent explanation emerging from the research. This involves stimulating the body’s repair mechanisms in the nervous system, immune system, and hormonal and cellular systems.

Acupuncture treatment should first follow an accurate diagnosis, and appraisal of all treatment options. In many cases acupuncture is best used in conjunction with conventional medicine, and in some conditions it can be used as a sole treatment. It helps minimize the requirements for medications (which may have undesirable side effects). Acupuncture is extremely safe when practiced correctly and is well accepted by the majority of animals.

Treatments take about 30 minutes and the number and interval of follow-up treatments varies with the condition; once a week for 2-4 weeks and then wider intervals is common. Most animals accept acupuncture well. Treatment costs are covered by most vet fees insurance policies. For further information and for booking an acupuncture appointment please contact the office.

Our Hydrotherapy Pool and Physiotherapy Clinics are now open to all – without the need for a referral to one of our vets. We are open during the daytime, evenings and weekends For direct referrals for physiotherapy or hydrotherapy or for more details, contact us on 01483 423761.

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