Canine Hydrotherapy – using water for Rehabilitation, Recovery, Fitness, Weight Loss and FUN!
Hydrotherapy, at its greek roots literally meaning “water healing”, can provide very unique benefits to your dog and we are thrilled to now be able to offer it to you in collaboration with our colleagues over at the new VetLand super Hospital in Mitcham.
Haven’t heard about the brand new hospital yet? Click here to check it out!
Why is water great for my dog?
Water can provide buoyancy, resistance and hydrostatic pressure. Essentially, hydrotherapy works because it can provide weightless physical therapy by removing the added pressure of gravity. Being buoyant means that hydrotherapy is a low impact exercise that reduces stress on joints.
Let’s not forget that water can be fun! It’s for this reason that hydrotherapy can be a great way to provide enrichment and encourage dogs to exercise. For example – should your dog need orthopaedic surgery, usually they’d be confined to a crate for 6 weeks afterwards while they heal. But, with hydrotherapy you can get them out of the house and moving; preventing joints from getting stiff, muscles from getting weak and minds from going a little bit crazy!
Or maybe you have an overweight senior dog – one who pulls up sore after walks, who you’re finding hard to motivate, and who can’t seem to shed any kgs? You know they need to lose weight for their joint and overall health, but you’re struggling. We hear you! With lots of encouragement, reward and fun you can get them lean and strong by exercising in water. The key is, this form of exercise is pain-free for them.
Can’t I just take my dog for a swim at the beach or the river?
Unfortunately, although very fun, these types of places are often too stimulating and there are too many uncontrollable variables. There is an increased risk that your dog will injure themselves. Uneven surfaces, obstacles, waves and currents make for harder work for your dog that could cause more harm than good. Remember, we want low-impact controlled exercise.
Types of Hydrotherapy
The two primary modalities of hydrotherapy are underwater treadmills and dog pools. Each has their own benefits and one may be better suited than the other depending on your dog’s condition and personality. A rehab trained vet or hydrotherapist can help you decide what type of program would be best for your pet, both physically and emotionally.
What health problems in dogs are helped by Hydrotherapy?
There are so many conditions that can be improved by Hydrotherapy; too many to list here (but we’ll mention a few). If you’d like to have a chat about how your dog could benefit from Hydrotherapy we’d love to hear from you.
Dogs recovering from orthopaedic and spinal surgery have loads to gain from Hydrotherapy. These recoveries involve lots of rest and confinement, which in turn means the muscles grow weaker and the joints grow stiffer during the recovery. Hydrotherapy is a safe way to prevent these things from happening as it can safely be used during the recovery period. In the case of recovering spinal surgeries, hydrotherapy can drastically speed up recovery times – seeing patients regain fuller function of their limbs and in a quicker period of time.
Hydrotherapy can help dogs recover from;
- Spinal surgery
- Cruciate knee surgery
- Fracture repair
- Replacement of dislocated hips and elbows
- Total hip replacement
- Limb amputation
Hydrotherapy isn’t just for surgery patients – it’s also great for arthritic dogs, overweight dogs trying to lose weight, improving strength and stamina after being sick, recovery post non surgical injuries and SO much more.