Hydrotherapy can be described as a type of occupational or physiotherapy that uses water resistance to rehabilitate injuries and relieve pain. It’s especially beneficial for dogs who have conditions such as a torn ACL, hip dysplasia, an IVDD episode, degenerative joint disease, arthritis, or dogs who have been paralysed or lost a limb.
Hydrotherapy is a great way to rehabilitate your pet after injury or surgery. It is also great for older or arthritic dogs to help build muscle mass to support their painful joints or for overweight dogs to give them a good work out allowing a greater range of motion while their buoyancy in the water reduces the stress or pressure on their joints as they recover from their injury
It is also a great cardiovascular work-out which has little direct impact on joints and offers great results!
Canine Hydrotherapy is ideal for cases and patients where chronic, post-operative, pre-operative, developmental or neurological conditions make weight bearing exercise difficult. It is also excellent for developing stamina and endurance, toning and building muscle and, increasing overall fitness and agility in obese canines
This is the most commonly used and is ideally suited for dogs with joint issues and/or arthritis. Comprised of a treadmill enclosed in a glass or plastic chamber, once the dog enters the chamber, the door is shut, and water fills the chamber to just above the dog’s legs.
The treadmill is set in motion, and the dog will start to move. The water will provide enough resistance to strengthen their joint muscles but takes away the stress of gravity, which makes this a low-impact exercise.
This type of hydrotherapy provides enough resistance to assist with the range of motion for a dog who might suffer from arthritis or degenerative joint issues.
Your dog will most likely wear a floater or might be secured to a harness if they are not comfortable in water and will also have a qualified Therapist with them at all times to monitor their movements in the water, with specific focus on the area that needs to be worked on, and the size and depth of the pool adjusted accordingly.
What Are the Benefits of Hydrotherapy for Dogs?
- Relief of pain, swelling and stiffness
- Rehabilitation after surgery
- Strengthen muscle tone
- Alleviate of muscle spasms
- Increase range of motion
- Promote blood circulation
- Tissue healing
- Cardiovascular fitness
- Gait correction
- Faster recovery from injuries
The advantages of underwater treadmill over normal swimming is that there is more control over how fast the patient moves, and because the dog’s movements are visible through the clear chamber, immediately notice and correct gait pattern abnormalities as they walk.
Specialised equipment is used for hydrotherapy which targets specific areas of your dog’s medical issues, so always consult with your dog’s Vet to work out the best course of action when considering this type of treatment.
Hydrotherapy is safe, beneficial, and reliable, but it’s important to note that this type of therapy must be handled by professionals and canine Therapists who have adequate experience and training in handling dog injuries and pain relief treatments.