Level 3 Diploma in Small Animal Hydrotherapy (Top up for Veterinary Surgeons and Veterinary Nurses)

Ofqual Code
Award type
Qualification Level
Guided Learning Hours
Entry Criteria
Study mode
Practical Locations
Start Date
Assessment Method
Enrolment will be valid for
2 years
Awarding Organisation
OCN West Midlands

Course Summary


dog-train-in-waterThe Level 3 Diploma in Small Animal Hydrotherapy has been designed as a top-up qualification for Veterinary Professionals who wish to expand their medical training and continued their development.

This course is suitable for qualified professionals including Veterinary Surgeons, Nurses and Technicians.

This Ofqual regulated qualification includes online theory and 6 days of practical experience in hydrotherapy and aquatic treadmill training.

The Canine Hydrotherapy Association (CHA) recognises this course as part of their criteria for joining their membership for qualified Small Animal Hydrotherapists. In addition, qualified  Small Animal Hydrotherapists can apply for an official membership of the International Association of Animal Therapists (IAAT)

*You will have access to the course for 24 months only, after which, you can purchase extensions.

6-day Practical Placement in a Covid-secure venue. Placement dates and venues available in UK & USA.

Placement locations: Chepstow, Witney, Aberdeen, Houston (USA), and Melksham.

Unit 1

Introduction to Hydrotherapy

This unit is intended to provide learners with background information on hydrotherapy. They will understand what hydrotherapy is and various aspects involved in hydrotherapy from the properties of water to the equipment used. The learner will know the legislation related to the practice of hydrotherapy.

Unit 2

Gait Analysis and Biomechanics

The aim of this unit is for learners to gain knowledge of gait patterns and relevant terminology, as well as posture and muscle contractions relevant to hydrotherapy treatment.

Unit 3

Hydrotherapy and Related Conditions

The aim of this unit for learners to gain knowledge of the conditions that are commonly presented for hydrotherapy, including medical, orthopaedic and neurological conditions.

Unit 4

Introduction to Small Animal Massage

Learners will understand the benefits of small animal massage and the techniques used in small animal massage. They will understand the benefits of massage on common injuries. Learners will also understand the various forms of massage.

Unit 5

Maintenance of Equipment and Water Balance

Learners will develop the knowledge to understand the importance of key aspects of maintenance in a hydrotherapy setting. This will include water testing and how to interpret results from water tests.

Unit 6

Practical Administration of Hydrotherapy

Learners will explore the practical application of hydrotherapy from the initial assessment to the preparation of the patient, to hydrotherapy treatment and aftercare. They will be able to conduct hydrotherapy pool sessions. Learners will be able to demonstrate skills in the practical administration of hydrotherapy.

Unit 7

Practical Advanced Aquatic Treadmill Techniques

This unit provides learners with the knowledge, information, and practical application of advanced aquatic treadmill techniques to adjust hydrotherapy treatment. Learners will be able to conduct a gait analysis and review patient performance.

Unit 8

Practical Aquatic Treadmill Therapy

This unit aims to give learners a practical skillset when using the aquatic treadmill. They will develop knowledge to understand factors affecting patients in the aquatic treadmill. They will be able to assess the small animal patients for suitability and create a design plan.

Unit 9

Professional Practice Management

The aim of this unit aims to demonstrate to learners the importance of Continual Professional Development and Professional Conduct within the workplace. Learners will develop knowledge of the roles and responsibilities within a hydrotherapy centre and the administration to be carried out.

Unit 10

Small Animal Assessment for Hydrotherapy

This unit provides explores the veterinary referral process, assessment, and health checking of small animals. It also looks at the various professional team members involved in treating a patient, and their suitability for hydrotherapy.

Unit 11

Small Animal Behaviour

Learners will understand small animal behaviour in relation to hydrotherapy. They will develop knowledge related to safe handling and understanding body language in small animals.

Unit 12

Tissue Healing Processes

Learners will develop knowledge of the tissue healing process, including factors that may affect this process, types of pain, and timing of hydrotherapy treatment.

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