A Blackpool dog lover has invested thousands of pounds in a somewhat unusual new business venture – animal hydrotherapy.
Carly Ingham, 26, hopes to set tails wagging across the Fylde coast with her approach to therapy for dogs, cats and even rabbits with joint pains, muscle aches or behavioural problems.
She has so far invested more than £13,000 in her new venture, Willow’s Hydrotherapy, named after her own best friend.
Carly was inspired to try the technique when her dog, four-year-old Willow, was crippled with pain caused by hip dysplasia, a problem with the hip joint which vets said meant she would need to be on painkillers for the rest of her life.
But online research led the entrepreneur, from South Shore, to experiment with hydrotherapy for Willow in her father David’s pool at home in Marton.
“He looked at me like I was mad when I suggested it,” she said.
“But when he saw the difference it made for Willow he’s helped me along the way.
“She’s a high energy dog but the pain restricted her, she’d run and walk funny. She had been so quiet and depressed.
“I looked online for complementary therapies and got her going on this and it helped massively.”
Animal hydrotherapy sees pets take to heated water for swimming exercises to give them chance to build muscle.
Carly added: “It’s brilliant to see the difference it makes.”
After three years of weekly hydrotherapy sessions and complementary natural supplements Willow can now manage twice-daily walks or runs on Blackpool beach of an hour each time - four times what she could manage before having hydrotherapy.
And she’s no longer on pain relief, saving her owner hundreds on vets bills.
Carly has instead invested her money in setting up the business on Mowbray Drive, Blackpool, and training for an ABC Level Three qualification in small animal hydrotherapy.
She has already treated a Newfoundland dog and a number of German Shepherds and the pool is also open to cats and rabbits. Larger breeds of dogs which grow quickly or are prone to joint problems are likely to be Carly’s main custom but the therapy can also aid weight loss and help dogs with behavioural problems to use up their energy.
She said: “It’s amazing to see the difference it can make - it will preserve Willow’s life.”
For more information on the services, visit www.willowshydro.co.uk