Some of our rehabilitation clients know that Gwenan went down to Warwickshire the other week and is going back in July on a training course.  Additional training is a requirement that a lot of professionals have to continue with have each year.  Gwenan has been lucky enough this year to focus primarily on hydrotherapy.  Consistency is key within a practice and having Gwenan complete the same course Abbie has done allows us to be on the same page with chemical control, handling within the water and awareness of contraindications within hydrotherapy.  The hope is after completing this course we will be able to join the Canine Hydrotherapy Association, which is recognised amongst many insurance companies.

Here’s a little insight into Gwenan’s time at Hawksmoore training centre. With Warwickshire being quite the distance from Anglesey and juggling the M5-M6 Gwenan set off on Sunday night ready for an early start on Monday morning. The wetsuit was packed, note pad ready and crocks rocking so off she went. Waving goodbye to Sarah and Abbie like a chick leaving the nest off on an adventure the drive was planned and the toll road a blessing.

Lucky for Gwenan the training centre was in cahoots with a local B&B only a 5 minute drive away so she managed to get a room there! Even better for her and yet to be discovered was that 3 other girls from the course were also staying in the same B&B. Breakfast and dinner weren’t so lonely when having a natter about what to expect on Poldark or Love Island that night and we even shared lifts!

First day … the iron came out and the hair was brushed! We went through a selection of topics surrounding hydrotherapy such as the properties of water, contraindications and legislations in place.  You see with hydrotherapy and all additional treatment for your animal the practitioner needs veterinary consent.  It is within the vets duty of care to ensure the animal receives suitable treatment and therefore having the right training promotes good practice and will in turn result in more veterinary referrals.  We were also discussing the importance of communication within a multidisciplinary team.  Abbie and Gwenan will send a report back to your referring veterinarian after 10 sessions or by the end of the treatment.  We also try our hardest to inform and update other practitioners that your animal might, see provided we know about them.  Some clients might see a different hydrotherapist when they’re away from home or a physiotherapist in a referring hospital.  These links and maintaining connection ensure consistency with treatment, which is always better for your dog’s rehabilitation.

The set up of Hawksmoore was lovely!  It helped that it was sunny and we could have our coffee breaks outside and were treated to a beautiful lunch each day.  Going back into a lecture room was a little daunting after graduating from university and thinking you were done with academic work.  The room was nice and the group was small making the whole experience more friendly, focused and relaxing.  We were even treated with sweeties that didn’t last two seconds!

Sue and Sara who were great when booking the course were even friendlier in person and had a wealth of knowledge.

Day two was a mix of practical work and theory so the day was a good variety and we could flit between the two.  We watched two treadmill sessions where different techniques were used to encourage active flexion of the joint.
We then got into our wetsuits and had a practice on some of the demonetisation dogs in their pool.  When compared to the pool at Mochdre Vets it was a lot narrower so it was a task trying to get the most out of the space.  It was a good lesson to learn ensuring the dog is working hard enough within the space provided.  We talked through different techniques to tackle dogs that didn’t want to kick their legs, were high in the water or unstable.

Day 3 was a little more intense because it was assessment day!  In the morning we were looking at gait assessments and health checks.  During an initial assessment we look at the overall health of your dog and keep record of any changes.  Change can include skin quality, weight gain and also positive factors such as muscle growth.  Its always great after we re-measure on the 10th session and there’s a significant gain in muscle mass!

We all passed our assessments on day 3 and said our goodbyes. Two of the girls had flown down one from Jersey and the other from Aberdeen so my journey back home to Anglesey didn’t seem too bad in hindsight. Looking forwards to returning in July!


Thank you everyone that juggled their session around to let me come!

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