Level 4 Diploma in Small Animal Hydrotherapy

Ofqual Code 603/4657/7
Qualification Level 4
Guided Learning Hours 560
Location Witney, Oxfordshire
Study mode Practical/Online
Award type Diploma
DEFRA Logo Open College Network Green Logo ELCAS Approved Logo

Course fees £2,995

Payment Options
  • £320 x 10 monthly instalments
    • £320 x 10 monthly instalments £320.00 £320 x 10 monthly instalments

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Small Animal Hydrotherapy Diploma Level 4


The Level 4 Ofqual regulated qualification has been specifically designed for students who have already completed the Level 3 Diploma in Small Animal Hydrotherapy and have proven practical experience in hydrotherapy training.

The Canine Hydrotherapy Association (CHA) recognises as part of their criteria for joining their membership for qualified Small Animal Hydrotherapists. If you are already a registered qualified Small Animal Hydrotherapists, this is the next qualification for progression to higher levels.

Course Content

This qualification contains 14 extensive and in depth units to further knowledge in advanced animal hydrotherapy, Physiotherapy and Treadmill Techniques.

Unit 1

Advanced Pool and Treadmill Techniques for Small Animals

The course begins by studying treadmill equipment and techniques used in hydrotherapy sessions. The unit explores advanced treadmill techniques by closely monitoring the patient’s performance and intricate changes in their movement during the session in the pool.

Unit 2

Business Management in Small Animal Hydrotherapy

Unit 2 explores the management side of a hydrotherapy company and some of the key elements in running your own Hydrotherapy Business. Key aspects include marketing, communication, operations and management.

Unit 3

Canine Nutrition

This unit explores the canine’s diet and digestive system and how nutrients can support a canine’s ability to function and to aid movement. Learn how to develop a nutritional plan for specific dietary requirements for a variety of health conditions.

Unit 4

Conditions and Surgical Procedures in Small Animals

This unit covers useful and basic veterinary terminology that is used by veterinary professionals for a variety of animal conditions and injuries. Orthopaedic and neurological conditions are both common reasons for animals to require hydrotherapy treatment. Often with these conditions, there are surgical procedures that are commonly used to improve their disabilities or injuries. In this unit, students study these medical procedures and how to manage and support animals with these varying conditions.

Unit 5

Feline Behaviour, Nutrition and Handling

This unit focuses on the study of feline behaviour, body language and handling. Learn about feline body language and how to handle cats correctly in a hydrotherapy environment. This unit also covers feline nutrition and the health implications for development and movement. Learn how to produce a dietary requirement plan, nutritional benefits and uncover related dietary illnesses in felines.

Unit 6

Higher Small Animal Anatomy and Physiology

Learn about key terminology and functions for structural, skeletal and muscular elements of animals

Unit 7

Introduction to Canine Laser Therapy

This unit studies IV laser equipment, health and safety and benefits of this type of treatment on canines.

Unit 8

Introduction to Small Animal Physiotherapy

This unit is an introduction to physiotherapy in small animals with a focus on musculoskeletal systems and associated conditions. Learn about the professional responsibilities of a physiotherapists and the required equipment.

Unit 9

Land Based Exercise for Small Animals

Learn about the fundamentals of physical therapy on land and the importance of manual exercise and the transition into water-based therapy.

Unit 10

Pool and Treadmill Operations and Water Management

This unit studies the maintenance and operational side of hydrotherapy pools. Learn about water management and filtration, focusing on how to test, decontaminate, disinfect, and monitor chemical levels. Study best practice for circulation and filtration methods to ensure an optimal and safe equipment for the centre and its patients.

Unit 11

Practical skills in Small Animal Hydrotherapy

Unit 11 explores the approach to treatment plans for hydrotherapy and treadmill treatment. Learn how to build effective treatment schedules and evaluation processes for hydrotherapy sessions.

Unit 12

Professional Practice in a Hydrotherapy Centre

This unit studies the core responsibilities within a hydrotherapy centre, the duty of care and the processes required for maintaining an accurate record and disease-free environment.

Unit 13

Small Animal Massage Therapy

Learn a variety of massage techniques used in small animal massage and study the anatomical structure of animals of different sizes.

Unit 14

Stress and Small Animal Hydrotherapy

This unit explores safe handling techniques by identifying key body language queues in dogs.
Learn how to recognise and avoid stress and provide the correct, force free and safe handling techniques.

Practical Training is Mandatory

The training consists of theory and practical training and includes five days practical training in our dedicated UK based hydrotherapy centres. In addition, the qualification requires at least 100 logged hours as evidence of practical experience.

Practical training is provided in classes usually conducted by an experienced Hydrotherapists and will take part in study teams of five students or under, meaning that you gain essential and valuable 1:1 training and support throughout the process.

The practical training centres feature top of the range bespoke hydro pools, hydrotherapy spas and aquatic treadmills with highly qualified trained animal professionals.

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