Hydrotherapy is not simply splashing in the shell pool or swimming down at the river, it’s a specialised underwater treadmill in a purpose-built tank. Used as a form of physical therapy, hydrotherapy can be used to increase mobility and function of joints and muscles in a number of different cases.
Underwater treadmill hydrotherapy is a fabulous way of getting your dog to stretch, work and nurture their muscles in a very controlled manner using the resistance and warmth of water while they move their limbs in a normal walking motion. This is very different to the jerky limb movements that occur during swimming.
In addition, hydrotherapy offers decreased weight bearing, challenges balance and co-ordination, offers generalised muscle relaxation and therefore increases muscle strength.
Hydrotherapy for pets is extremely valuable in many circumstances including:
- Rehabilitation following major surgery.
- Spinal disease/disabilities – teaching dogs to walk again.
- Safe exercise for geriatric pets.
Hydrotherapy patients are encouraged with the rehabilitation therapist’s voice, music or treats and after settling in, most of them really look forward to the sessions which are run regularly to maximise benefits. The length of the sessions, water level and speed of the treadmill are all customised for each patient and adjusted as they show progress.
Hydrotherapy is a great natural way of helping your dog regain muscle or joint function and usually means we get to reduce any medication needed to help manage pets with mobility issues.