Cork Canine Rehabilitation Centre (CCRC) is committed to delivering the highest standard of care for your pet. Our qualified specialists in small animal rehabilitation provide land and water based physiotherapy in a caring, friendly and professional environment. Using evidence based clinical reasoning and therapeutic handling each animal is assessed and individualised treatment packages are developed.

Water based physiotherapy utilises the unique physical properties of warm water, together with skilled therapeutic handling techniques, specialised equipment, manual movement and proprioceptively enriched techniques to improve movement and function on land.

Canine aqua and hydrotherapy can be used for pre-operative conditioning or as part of the rehabilitation programme designed to facilitate the progress of recovery from injury. illness or surgery.

We strive to return your pet to optimal function and comfortable, efficient movement whilst preventing secondary musculoskeletal issues. We most commonly treat orthopaedic, neurological and soft tissue dysfunctions and manage acute and chronic pain. Our service includes support and mentoring for owners while working closely with referring vets to ensure highest standards of pet welfare are achieved.



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Rehabilitation Therapist

Deirdre Duggan is a RCVS qualified Veterinary Nurse since 2001 and has extensive experience working in both general and referral small animal veterinary hospitals in Dublin, Sydney, Melbourne and Cork. She is a registered member of VCI, RCVS and IRVAP. In 2001, she gained a diploma in Canine Aqua and Hydrotherapy and ABC accredited certificate in Small Animal Hydrotherapy. In 2013 she gained her post graduate certificate with distinction in Small Animal Rehabilitation Therapy from the University of Nottingham. Deirdre plays a key part in the pre and post-operative care of our orthopaedic and neurological patients.


Rehabilitation Therapist

Claire O'Donnell has had a lifetime passion for animals. She has worked in both the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and Seeing Eye Dogs in Australia and has completed a Canine Behaviour and Training Technician (CBTT) course through Anied in Dublin. In January 2015, Claire began as a rehabilitation  therapist assistant in Cork Canine Rehabilitation Centre while studying for her Postgraduate qualification in Small Animal Rehabilitation through the University of Nottingham. Once completing the PGCert, she gained the ABC accredited certificate in Small Animal Hydrotherapy. She is also a registered member of the Institute of Registered Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapists. (IRVAP) and was previously on the council as an Irish Representative.



Marley: 1 year old black Labrador X Bernese

Diagnosis: Severe hip dysplasia with significant luxoid hips

Indicators: Exercise intolerance, poor muscling, unable to jump up couch. Lack of energy

Previous Regime: Advised Euthanasia initially elsewhere. Advised Metacam

Treatment Plan: 

  • Rimadyl BID for 4 wks + Pardale BID for 2 wks. 
  • Was then on metacam daily and weaned off.
  • Home Exercises: Active Range of movement, changes to exercise regime and home environment.
  • Start land and water based physiotherapy. 

Currently: Off all medication. Hydrotherapy monthly. 

Running around with a new lease of life with her sister Chloe. 


Jangles: 12 year old golden retriever

Diagnosis: Global Arthritis and generally 'slowing down'

Indicators: Owners worried about her as she stopped wanting to go on walks, was plodding around the house, stiff after rest and finding it difficult to get up from lying down, difficulty getting in and out of car and up and down off steps.

Previous regime: Walked 20-25mins daily and swims in lake, reduced from 50mins-1hr in the last year. Tramadol but owner didnt feel it made much of a difference.

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Treatment plan: 

  • Home exercises, change in environment and exercise regime
  • Hydrotherapy weekly to build up her pelvic limb muscles and improve her comfort.
  • Laser therapy to treat active trigger points along her spine 
  • Pulsed electromagnetic therapy to improve comfort and pain. 

Currently: Running ahead on walks, back to her playful puppy self, far more active and more comfortable. Improved quality of life! 

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Grover: 8 year old terrier

Diagnosis: Type I disc extrusion at L3-L4

Presented with hindlimb paralysis, no superficial sensation or withdrawal, had deep pain sensation and weak withdrawal, no patellar reflexes.


  • Left sided hemi-laminectomy at Disc spaces L3 - L4 - L5. Massive amounts of disc material removed
  • Inpatient physiotherapy
  • Home exercise plan on discharge to owners
  • Alterations to home environment-non slip surfaces and ramps.
  • Hydrotherapy as soon as sutures were removed. 

Currently: On rimadyl as needed. Restricted exercise. Hydrotherapy every second week. 

He has an excellent quality of life! Owner knows his limitations and how to keep him at his best. 

What We Offer

Cork Canine Rehabilitation Centre offers an integrated land and water based small animal inpatient and outpatient rehabilitative service.

We offer expert advice and home programs and on-going mentoring and support services for all our clients and their pets. We work closely with your vet to ensure the best for your pet. We also provide a specialist inpatient physiotherapy service to Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital.

A physiotherapy session is carried out by a highly qualified and experienced small animal rehabilitation therapist and will include



  • Relieve pain and improve comfort
  • Prevent further injuries
  • Improve endurance and cardiovascular performance
  • Improve coordination and balance
  • Increase strength, flexibility and range of motion
  • Improve overall psychological wellbeing
  • All resulting in improved mobility and function



  • Joint Conditions: Elbow or hip dysplasia or OCD
  • Neurological Conditions: IVDD, CDRM, trauma, post decompression spinal surgery
  • Soft tissue injuries and conditions: pre and post surgical treatment of cranial cruciate ligament rupture, other ligament, muscle and tendon injuries
  • Post orthopaedic surgery: TPLO, TTA, luxating patella repair, fracture repair, arthroscopy as part of the rehabilitaton programme.
  • Obesity: as part of the weight loss programme
  • Osteoarthritic Management
  • Conditioning & Endurance Training: such as muscle strengthening for the athletic or working dog and those recovering from illness
  • Geriatric dogs: Maintaining and improving mobility in the older dog
  • General fitness: in young, older and athletic dogs  


Cork Canine Rehabilitation Centre’s state of the art facility is located within Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital, which has amble parking, and grassy area for toileting purposes. Our custom made aqua facilities are specially designed to meet the needs of our patients and include a large walk in shower, a 6 ft. x 10 ft. indoor pool which holds a large internal platform which is easily accessed by gentle sloping ramps.

Water quality and hygiene is vitally important to us, and is tested several times daily to ensure a safe working environment. Pool water is maintained at 32 degrees Celsius, which is of great benefit therapeutically, as it results in vasodilation, increasing blood flow, assisting in relief of muscle tension and improving cardiorespiratory





Initial consultation €65  (Consists of assessment, land based treatment and initial home programme 60 mins )

Follow up treatment session 45-55 mins €55

Session requiring two therapists: 45-55 mins €60  (e.g. First hydrotherapy session, treatment programme for large or giant breeds, the complex small animal patient)

Call 087-1939654 from 8am – 6pm, Monday to Friday

Or email us on

Appointments are by veterinary referral only. Please Download a Veterinary Referral Form from next tab. To be signed by owner and veterinarian. 

Please note, if your pet is insured, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy are covered by most companies. It is up to the owner to claim.


Please remember:

1. To have your dog fasting at least 2 hours before the session.

2. To arrive about 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment to allow your dog a chance to walk outside to go to the toilet.

Please remember to bring:

1.  2 x towels – to dry your dog / for your car.

2. A coat or a soft blanket to put on your dog afterwards.

3.  Tasty treats that your dog loves – ideally something that doesn’t crumble easily.

4. The referral form, fully completed and signed.

5. Suitable clothing and footwear for yourself, as you will be entering a wet room.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 087 1939654