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A leading Warwickshire vet is set to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a facility which has made a real splash with its doggy patients.

To mark the anniversary of the hydrotherapy unit at its Wellesbourne branch, Avonvale Veterinary Centres invited a very special guest to come and celebrate.

olly the superstarOlly was presented with a certificate at his 200th hydrotherapy session

Olly, aged 12, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, has been going to the unit for treatment since 2015 and recently enjoyed his 200th session.

Olly seriously damaged his right knee in 2014 while chasing a squirrel and needed complex orthopaedic surgery.

Avonvale recommended hydrotherapy to his owner Alex Beaumont to help Olly regain and strengthen muscle in his injured leg.

Water buoyancy helps stabilise the body in a vertical position and encourages a normal walking pattern to strengthen muscles.

The temperature and level of the water can be controlled for each individual which allows thermal benefits – warm water assists with pain relief, while cooler water reduces inflammation.

Veterinary nurse Helen Reeve, who runs the hydrotherapy unit, which is also suitable for cats, said: “Not only is hydrotherapy good for physical health, it is also good for a dog’s mental health.

“For a dog who has undergone a major operation or who has arthritis and struggles with mobility, being in the water and being kept buoyant as they walk can be a huge relief and helps them regain both strength and confidence.

“Ten minutes on the hydro treadmill is the equivalent of a 40 minute walk. Dogs are supported by the water but they are still working hard, so it can also help increase their cardio abilities.

“Sometimes there will not be huge physical changes, but it’s often the little changes which can make a huge difference to the life of a dog, and its owners.

“It also makes a lot of dogs lose their fear of attending the vets. They no longer associate going with needles and examinations, they associate it with how wonderful they feel in the water.”
olly with his ownerOlly with his owner, Alex Beaumont, and Helen Reeve, who runs the hydrotherapy unit.
Olly has had numerous health issues over the years, including a spinal infection, and now has arthritis, but owner Alex says the hydrotherapy sessions are not only brilliant for his health but also a huge source of enjoyment.

She said: “Olly has had a lot of issues over the years and the hydro sessions have been wonderful for him. He just loves them.

“When hydrotherapy was first suggested by Avonvale I was initially reluctant as he had always been averse to going near water. He’d avoid going near a shallow puddle if he could, but now he pretty much drags me up the path to the vets.

“If I try and walk in a different direction we have a bit of a stand-off and he has a sulk.

“When he is there, he gets so much fuss, he revels in it. He’s a little dog who has been through a lot and a combination of the hydrotherapy and the way Helen and the rest of the Avonvale team treat him has done him the world of good.”

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