Water way to get your dog fit
A NEW hydrotherapy pool is helping ailing dogs overcome some of the most crucial medical conditions that are commonly found in pooches.
Through simple water exercises, hydrotherapist Mark Athow can help pets with conditions including arthritis, spondylitis, hip and elbow dysplasia as well as aid weightloss.
Mr Athow has installed the 13foot circular, four foot deep swimming pool in Drain Road, Newborough, which can help keep dogs of any age and weight, fit or healthy, without the stresses and strains of exercise on hard ground.
Mr Athow (45) fully qualified as a hydrotherapist last year following more than 25 years working as a finanical adviser.
He said: “My family run Newborough Dogs in Drain Road, looking after more than 40 working, injured and retired greyhounds.
“It was costing a lot of money to take the dogs to a pool so we opened up our own pool and I volunteered to run it.
“Initially it was just for our dogs but word has spread and we have 30 regulars a week, as well as treating at least 20 of our own dogs.
The average cost of taking a dog to the pool is £10 for half-an-hour.
Mr Athow said: “Hydrotherapy can be used to treat arthritis, orthopaedic conditions, muscle, ligaments and many other types of injury. The warmth and pressure of the water provides particular value for the dogs. The treatment also helps relieve pain, swelling and stiffness, promotes relaxation and strengthens muscles.”
Lucy Holland (25), of Peakirk, who takes her yorkie and westie cross Merlin (2) to the pool, said: “Merlin’s back left leg clicks when he walks. Being in the water helps cure that while also building up the strength in his legs. He loves it.”
Audrey Johnson of Deeping St James, has been training dogs for more than 30 years.
At the pool with her two border collie dogs, Tremor (2) and Leafy (8), she said: “Leafy loves to swim so she enjoys a 15 minute session once a week. I hope that by bringing Tremor somewhere fun I can cure her travel sickness. It is brilliant for dogs.”
hydro: Mark Athow with Leafy the border collie in the hydrotherapy pool at Twenty Foot Farm in Newborough. (METP-08-06-10GM035)
therapy: Mark Athow with Merlin the dog. (METP-08-06-10GM013)