03/06/2013 at 11:45 AM EST
Swim with the fishes? Not quite.
In Hampshire, England, a 4-year-old continental giant rabbit named Heidi has taken to hydrotherapy to ease her arthritic pain, which she suffers from in her hips and knees. The treatment is more commonly prescribed for horses and dogs, but Heidi's veterinarian believes the rabbit could benefit from the twice-weekly sessions, as well.
With a lifejacket fitted to her for buoyancy and her ears pinned back, the brown-haired furbaby makes her way around a heated pool for seven minutes at a time.
"None of us thought she would tolerate one minute in the water, but in her first session she took to it very quickly," owner Amanda Williams said
. "As soon as she hit the water she just instinctively started paddling."
Fortunately, it seems the unorthodox strategy is working.
"Her whole gait and posture is much better," added Williams. "She is moving around much more freely."