New animal rehab clinic opens in Suffolk for dogs and small pets

Stowmarket-based Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation's facilities include a hydrotherapy pool

Stowmarket-based Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation's facilities include a hydrotherapy pool - Credit: Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation

Two animal workers made redundant by the shock closure of the Suffolk-based Animal Health Trust (AHT) have opened their own rehab clinic for dogs and small pets.

Determined to continue their passion after the world-renowned AHT was forced to close citing lack of funds last year, Jo Handley-Howard and Matthew Scott have set up Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation.

Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation, in Stowmarket, will help to care for dogs and other animals

Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation, in Stowmarket, will help to care for dogs and other animals - Credit: Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation

The new clinic combines Ms Handley-Howard's expertise as a small animal hydrotherapist and Matthew Scott's as a veterinary physiotherapist to help small animals recover from injury.

Working mainly with dogs but also other small animals, their Stowmarket base offers hydrotherapy and physiotherapy under one roof - with specific exercise plans combined with state of the art equipment.

The physiotherapy area at Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation, based in Stowmarket 

The physiotherapy area at Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation, based in Stowmarket - Credit: Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation

Its hi-tech facilities include laser therapy, an aquatic treadmill and a hydrotherapy pool.

Ms Handley-Howard said: "I didn’t want to give up an area of my job that I felt really committed and passionate about and so decided to look for premises which I could continue running my own rehabilitation service for new and existing patients.


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"I was aware that so many of our patients suddenly found themselves without the aftercare they needed.

"I am a small animal hydrotherapist and Matthew was part of my team when I worked at the AHT.

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"I asked Matt if he would like to join me in setting up a new centre whereby, we could offer not just hydrotherapy but physiotherapy all under one roof."

A treadmill is one of the pieces of equipment used by Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation, based in Stowmarket

A treadmill is one of the pieces of equipment used by Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation, based in Stowmarket - Credit: Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation

Ms Handley-Howard said "hydrotherapy and physiotherapy are an excellent way to treat small animals", adding that the centre aims to offer treatment plans to help manage pain in older dogs suffering from conditions such as arthritis.

But as well as treating medical cases, the centre plans to offer performance enhancement sessions designed to improve overall fitness levels.

Although its services require veterinary referrals, she said: "Once referred, we can design a plan to suit whether that be for general fitness or for improving performance in the competing or working dog.

"Full assessments can be given along with helpful advice on how to keep your dog physically fit and well."

The physiotherapy area at Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation, based in Stowmarket 

The physiotherapy area at Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation, based in Stowmarket - Credit: Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation

Synergy Small Animal Rehabilitation can only see medical welfare cases under current coronavirus restrictions.

However, it hopes it will be able to offer its full range of services once the current lockdown is eased.

For more information about the new centre, visit its website.

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