What is hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is a rehabilitative form of physiotherapy that involves immersing an animal in water during movement and exercises. The water allows the animal to be weight-free which makes for easier mobility, while the warm temperature helps to relieve pain and muscle spasms.

Here at Dogwood we have a purpose-built hydrotherapy pool and underwater treadmill which we can use in the treatment of a number of conditions, teamed with the specialist help of our trained hydrotherapists.

When might we use hydrotherapy?

We tend to use hydrotherapy for rehabilitation of orthopaedic conditions. It can be effective in easing the pain associated with arthritis or hip dysplasia and working to increase mobility without putting additional strain on the limbs.

We can also use hydrotherapy for recovery from soft tissue injuries, as well as improving the adverse effects of general old age.

Benefits of hydrotherapy

There are a number of benefits of hydrotherapy for dogs, including:

  • Muscle strengthening and conditioning
  • Promoting blood circulation
  • Tissue healing
  • Pain relief
  • Gait modification
  • Improved range of movement
  • Weight loss

 

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What you and your pet can expect

Before you and your pet arrive for the hydrotherapy session you’ll be advised of what you need to bring with you. What you can expect depends on which type of hydrotherapy your pet is undergoing:

Hydrotherapy pool – Your pet will receive a jacket, and then we’ll encourage them to get into the pool with you sitting nearby. After some stretching and adjusting to the environment, we’ll take your pet for a lap of the pool. This first session will be gentle, with the aim of easing them into the experience.

Underwater treadmill – We’ll start by filling the chamber with a determined level of water. Your pet will then be encouraged to start walking/trotting. We make sure to stay within the chamber with your pet, so they’ll be as reassured as possible.

Hydrotherapy isn’t just for dogs. We see a lot of cats benefitting from the treatment too – after all, not all cats hate swimming!

If you’d like to refer a pet for hydrotherapy, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to discuss things further with you.