Hydrotherapy can be a beneficial modality for treating a variety of conditions in dogs including mobility issues, recovery from surgery or injury, degenerative joint disease or arthritis and neurological conditions.
The buoyancy of the water reduces stress on the joints, so the patient can move more comfortably. Hydrotherapy sessions also help to build and maintain muscle mass, which is often compromised after surgery. Moving against the resistance of the water works the muscles efficiently and builds strength.
“The warm temperature helps warm up tissues thereby increasing range of motion,” explains Dr. Zenoni.
The warm water also helps to relieve pain, swelling and stiffness, and improve circulation. We often incorporate massage and stretching into a water therapy session, including use of the jets for therapeutic benefit.
The underwater treadmill and the resistance pool are also beneficial for active dogs who want to maintain their athletic lifestyle or burn off some extra energy.
Alternatively, overweight dogs benefit from time in the water without additional stress on their joints.
The training and qualifications of the therapist is also a significant factor is how the patient progresses with water therapy. An effective treatment session requires a strong background in rehabilitation including the ability to understand gait patterns, know when and how to progress treatment, as well as address any new or recurring medical issues. (Read more about our team).
Worried your dog won’t take to the water? You might be surprised! Positive reinforcement and an experienced therapist makes a world of difference in coaxing a hesitant canine.
There are many benefits of water therapy and it is a valuable tool in the way of maximizing your pet’s health. Think your pet may benefit from hydrotherapy? Contact us for more information.