Dick White Referrals


Physiotherapy is the use of physical therapy to promote movement and function in pets that are at risk of, or have encountered, reduced mobility. This often follows injury or illness but it may relate to factors such as age and obesity.

Staff Members

Leah Unwin

Team Leader, Physiotherapy

Sarah Powdrill

Veterinary Physiotherapist

Nicola Thomas

Veterinary Physiotherapist

Beth Higginbotham

Physiotherapy Assistant

Fiona Smee

Veterinary Physiotherapist


Physiotherapy uses physical approaches to promote, maintain and restore function in dogs and cats. Our service encompasses a broad range of treatment techniques, both land-based and water-based.

Our state-of-the-art physiotherapy and hydrotherapy facility includes a computerised water treadmill which allows exercise aided by buoyancy. Our patients are acclimatised slowly until they have gained confidence and the treadmill, within a tank of warm water is activated with controlled parameters of speed, depth and water temperature. Gentle ramps ensure that entry and exit are easy and stress free. Hands-on physiotherapy techniques are used simultaneously. This is a well-proven strategy for many types of patient.
We work closely with the clinical specialities at DWR to improve follow-up and adjunctive care.

Physiotherapy can assist and compliment traditional treatment strategies in many areas of veterinary medicine and surgery including:

  • Neurology: assisting return to function in medically managed patients and post operatively for neurosurgery patients
  • Medicine: maintenance of function during acute medical illness
  • Orthopaedics: supporting and accelerating return of limb function following surgery for developmental and degenerative problems and traumatic injuries
  • Critical Care: management of the recumbent patient, giving preventive treatment to protect against problems with the musculoskeletal or respiratory systems
  • Analgesia: acute and chronic pain management.
  • Care of elderly patients, eg those with chronic osteoarthritis

We also offer an outpatient service both for the follow-up of discharged patients and for initial assessments of patients from referring veterinary surgeons.

Our physiotherapy service is progressive, patient-centred and focused towards continued excellence. We are committed to ongoing development of knowledge and skills. We are actively involved in training, and contribute to CPD events here at DWR.

Please select ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ from the menu on the left to gain further information regarding physiotherapy. Also, please remember that your consultant will be pleased to answer any further questions you may have.

Specialist Referral Services

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