Hydrotherapy referral

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My question relates to other posts I have written regarding our choccy lab barley. With his diagnosis 12 months ago of severe arthritis in both front elbows we have been busy changing his lifestyle to accommodate his condition
non slip mats ,new bed, weight control ( now lost 3kg) anti inflammatory and synoquin supplements, change of walking routines etc ,he is so much happier
we recently started taking him to our hydro therapist for swimming as they have great facility’s about twice a month as recommended by our vet, the facility is fully equipped and the staff have all of the correct certification for rehabilitation, all lovely people and barley literally races to the door to get in
so onto my question
my vet refuses point blank to sign me a referral form which I will need for barley to have physio and hydrotherapy but will allow him to have a so called “ fun swim”
i was hoping to claim on my insurance for his sessions ,as the costs do mount up and I am covered for these sessions but they will will not acknowledge a fun swim as a session
my vets have an in-house hydro and physio and will allow me to use their service but not my own choice and it was him that recommended for him to attend sessions
however if my vet suggested it would be beneficial surely it is my choice of who to take him to
ive been with the same vet since he was a pup and I am seriously considering leaving this vets practice and taking him to another local vet in the area which sends all of his patients to the hydrotherapy place which I use now
its seriously stressing me out,surely it’s about what’s best for barley at the end of the day or is it more about the loss of business and money
any thoughts would be appreciated

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My vets won’t refer to another physio as they have an in house physio which is fair enough, but they also will not refer to a hydro and sign on the insurance form – all they will do is send your dogs notes to them – they say as they cant’ vouch for if any of the hydrotherapists are qualified or have the right experience.

Luckily my specialist vet signs off any physio.. and I’ve run out of insurance claim money on hydro so I claim it myself.  Only can claim for 10 sessions anyway, and by the time there is a excess, was not so may sessions I could claim for anyway.

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OK this is a tricky one as what you are describing would suggest that the vet is trying to keep work in house.
This is a tricky one as I have as a vet had the situations where I feel I “lose” the control of the case, I feel the therapist is potentially leading the client in a non EBM direction. So I can see merit in using a facility in house considering the team can discuss case progression and plan a true multimodal approach.
There definitely is merit in having the combination of physio and hydro as they have completely different skill sets, as well as complementing each others knowledge bases. So from the vets perspective it is a better service he is offering you.
Whether he can refuse to sign your referral to another provider is a difficult question.
Have you actually gone to see the vet and discuss it face to face. I am finding almost daily that the digital era is also ruining communication rather than solely benefiting it. If you were to talk face to face he may be able to explain his reasons better.

x

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Hi Lynsey, yes I’m uk based, I checked the narch website and yes the one I use is registered but seems funny that my vets one isn’t?
ive been with my vets practice for 10 years and I am nervous about leaving,however if it’s for the best interest for barley I don’t really have a choice.
thanks for your comments

Answered question
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Ouch Keith! That’s a tricky one!
Personally, I agree it is your choice where to take Barley for hydrotherapy and you are not obliged to go only where your vet wants you to. Are you sure the other place is certified and your vet isn’t just trying to stop you going there without actually voicing it out loud? Perhaps he has former experience with it?

Otherwise I’m at a bit of a loss what to suggest, except to take him to the other practice if you’re happy going there and get a referral letter from them. I’d just double check the hydrotherapists qualifications…. Are you in the UK? The regulatory body here is NARCH and so ideally they would be registered with them.

Lynsey.

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