Physiotherapy encompasses the use of multiple skills to provide holistic treatment of the dogs whole body, as well as taking into account many factors that can
affect their sports performance and rehabilitation, including the home environment and exercise. 
All of the facilities listed below are covered under physiotherapy treatment that may take place either in the water or on land. 


Hydrotherapy utilises water properties to create a safe and proprioceptively enriched environment to aid your dogs rehabilitation, return to function, and overall fitness.

One such water property is buoyancy, which reduces weight bearing forces exerted on painful or weak joints, additionally aiding movement of weak limbs which may be too difficult or painful when on land. This is also what makes it such a great environment for sports performance conditioning, as it allows training without repetitive loading through joints and muscles.

Additional benefits of hydrotherapy:

  • Reduced pain perception
  • Reduced swelling and stiffness
  • Muscular relaxation
  • Increased muscle strength and mass
  • Increased range of motion and joint mobilisation
  • Increased mental stimulation
  • Improved quality of life
  • Improved circulation
  • Improved cardiovascular fitness

When undertaking a water based treatment session, your animals will receive a pre-shower for hygiene, with additional therapeutic techniques utilised to warm their muscles and stimulate them for the hydrotherapy session which will take place either in the pool or treadmill.

Once relaxed within the environment, a multitude of therapeutic techniques will be utilised within the water including; sequencing patterns through the water, proprioceptive stimulation of limbs, active range of motion, and massage.

Following this, your animal will again be showered and shampooed to help relax the worked muscles and joints. We aim to dry your animal as best as possible, however they may be left a little damp so please bring a coat or towel to wrap them up in so they don't get cold.

Hydrotherapy Pool

At Cotswold Dog Spa our 2 x 4m hydrotherapy pool offers ramp entry and exit that will by guided by the therapist to ensure a safe and therapeutic experience at all times. A skilled and qualified therapist will accompany your dog in the hydrotherapy pool, performing a variety of therapeutic techniques to create a safe, confident, and beneficial experience for your dog.

The hydrotherapy pool is sanitised with chlorine daily and maintained at 30-32°C to create a clean and relaxing environment for your dog. Water quality is important to us, our records are available for viewing and along with current guidelines we have the water externally tested for bacteria monthly.

Hydrotherapy Treadmill

Our trained therapists will guide your dog via ramp entry and exit into the hydrotherapy treadmill. The hydrotherapy treadmill offers controlled weight bearing via the therapists control over the water submersion level. A therapist will accompany your dog in the hydrotherapy treadmill to provide a safe and therapeutic experience whilst introducing them to the movement of the underwater belt and encourage normal gait patterning through the water.

As per the pool the treadmill is sanitised daily and maintained at 30-32°C to create a clean and relaxing environment for your dog

Exercise Prescription

Bespoke home programmes will be devised taking into account your home environment and lifestyle, the condition being treated and the aims of the rehabilitation. Advice on exercise management will be discussed and monitored, as well as setting exercises to be performed at home to really excel your animals rehabilitation. These home exercises are a great way for owners to be thoroughly involved in your animals rehabilitation journey, and will help in keeping them stimulated and strengthen your bond with them whilst they are unable to exercise or do activities they were able to do pre surgery/injury.

During sessions ground work may be undertaken and can involve a number of tools, from balanced harness walking and proprioceptive tracks, to raised poles, hoops and ladders. For more advanced patients we have a wobble board and cushions to aid core stability and take exercises to the next level.

Proprioceptive Enhancements

Included within your dogs bespoke home programme, exercises will be demonstrated and prescribed to help increase your dogs proprioception.

Proprioception is an awareness of your limbs in space and allows us to touch our hands together above our heads when blindfolded. Proprioception can be impaired with many musculoskeletal and neurological conditions such as arthritis, cruciate ligament disease, spinal injuries and many more. By utilising exercises to tap into your dogs proprioception we are making them more aware of where their legs are. This then transfers to other activities, so when they are exercising they perform the exercises more effectively to help build quality muscle mass and in turn help strengthen them, aiding with musculoskeletal and neurological conditions.

Proprioception will also be worked on within every rehabilitation session by your therapist, who will utilise a range of techniques both on land and in water.


Massage is a remedial soft tissue and muscular manipulation which stretches the tissues and enourages blood flow and lymphatic circulation. This aids in joint flexibility, reduced pain by causing the release of endorphins, and promotes relaxation.

Massage can be used to assist all animals, from those recovering post surgery/injury, to those compensating from orthopaedic conditions such as hip dysplasia, and even aid sporting competition dogs to maintain top condition and reduce risk of injuries.

How Massage can aid your dog:

  • Improved blood circulation
  • Increased supply of oxygen to muscles and tissues
  • Increased lymphatic circulation
  • Promotes elimination of waste products
  • Pain Relief - encourages endorphin release
  • Increased range of motion
  • Relieve muscle tension and spasm

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PMFT)

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PMFT) is a form of electrotherapy that uses pulsed electromagnetic fields at differing frequencies. This is because the cells in our body all have different electrical charges which change when cells are damaged. PMFT induces secondary electrical fields within the cells in the body in order to return the damaged cells to their ‘healthy’ electrical charge. This results in a cascade of normal cellular reactions within the cells resulting in an improved rate of healing of bone, nerves, and soft tissues (tendons, ligaments, muscles, skin), as well as providing pain relief.

How PMFT can aid your dog:

  • Increased blood flow (brings nutrients to healing structures)
  • Increased rate of tissue healing (bone, nerves, soft tissues)
  • Nerve Regeneration
  • Pain Relief 


LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation), or Red Light Phototherapy or Photobiomodulation, is a form of electrotherapy that uses red light at wavelengths 980/810nm to transfer light energy which is absorbed by cells in the body. The absorbed light gives the cells more energy to perform their normal function at an improved rate, therefore resulting in improved bone and soft tissue healing (tendon, ligaments, muscles, skin), and reducing the formation of scar tissue, as well as providing pain relief.

We use Companion Care CT-X LASER treatment with many of our cases. Research has demonstrated that for best results it is advisable for the first 5 LASER sessions to be over 2 weeks in order to build up an accumulative effect and kick start improved rates of healing and pain relief. Some animals require more/less than 5 sessions to start noticing a difference.

Once your animal starts seeing the benefits of LASER treatment, the frequency of sessions can be adjusted accordingly to find a 'maintenance' level of treatment that complements physiotherapy treatment.

How LASER can aid your dog:

  • Increased blood flow (brings nutrients to healing structures)
  • Improved rate of tissue healing (bone, nerves and soft tissue)
  • Improved scar healing – encourages collagen synthesis
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Pain relief – encourages endorphin release


Thermotherapy (heat therapy) utilises heat to increase the metabolic activity of cells to promote the removal of waste products and improve the repair process. Heat also causes increased blood flow to the area to further assist in the removal of waste products and increase the supply of nutrients to the area. Similar to having a nice warm bath, the increased blood flow causes muscle fibres to relax, helping to resolve muscle tension and spasm, as well
as providing pain relief.


Cryotherapy (ice therapy) utilises cold to reduce the metabolic activity of cells, causing a decrease in blood flow, haemorrhage and the number of white blood cells. This is to help reduce inflammation and decrease pain and swelling associated with tissue damage. Cryotherapy is commonly used post surgery or injury, and for acute inflammation.