Carmarthen Journal – Wednesday 28 September 2016, page 9
Doggy pool makes a splash with four-legged friends

Dogs have been making quite a splash in Peniel recently thanks to the opening of a special swimming pool.

West Wales Canine Hydrotherapy has a pool that helps to rehabilitate canines following injury or surgery and aims to assist with mobility in dogs who suffer from degenerative diseases.

One such dog that has benefitted from the service is Carlisle, an 18-month-old female who was at the Many Tears Animal Rescue in Cefneithin. Carlisle was heavily pregnant and had an untreated dislocated knee which meant she could barely walk.

She underwent specialist knee surgery after she had given birth to her puppies, but months of enforced immobility resulted in her muscles wasting away and a reduction in her general fitness.

West Wales Canine Hydrotherapy offered intensive hydrotherapy sessions free of charge, in an attempt to address these issues, and as a result Carlisle has been enjoying three 30 minute sessions a week for the past two months.

“With careful monitoring, and gradually increasing the amount, and type of swimming, Carlisle has gained 5 ½ cm around the circumference of her left hip”, said Canine Hydrotherapist Katharine Deane, who runs West Wales Canine Hydrotherapy.

“When we started, Carlisle was noticeably stiff and tired after sessions, but within a few visits, she became more able and energetic. She now uses all 4 legs, with no lameness, and she has normal range of movement in her limbs. Her overall fitness had improved, and her confidence and speed when swimming are just great to see.”

Joelle Hoggan, who fostered Carlisle for Many Tears Animal Rescue, said “Having these free sessions has made all the difference to Carlisle’s quality of life. Before, she could only walk about six steps before sitting down, and now she can run and play like any normal dog. It’s been a lifesaver.”

West Wales Canine Hydrotherapy, which is fully insured and is a member of the National Association of Registered Canine Hydrotherapists, is based in a beautiful converted church in Peniel, just north of Carmarthen. The swimming pool is 8m x 4m, one of the largest canine hydrotherapy pools in the UK, and is the perfect size to allow a varied range of therapeutic exercises to be accomplished in a natural way, motivating dogs at their own pace using toys and praise.

For more information available on the services they provide, you can visit

NARCH logo The National Association of Canine Hydrotherapists