Canine Hydrotherapy is now becoming very popular with several canine hydrotherapy pools opening in South East Queensland. Although swimming is beneficial for cardiovascular fitness, weight loss and during rehabilitation following injury or orthopedic surgery, it is important that an appropriate hydrotherapy program is designed by a qualified physiotherapist prior to the animal commencing swimming.
At Veterinary Specialist Services hydrotherapy using the underwater treadmill plays an invaluable part of many dogs rehabilitation. The advantage of using an underwater treadmill is that it enables the physiotherapist to facilitate the animal's normal walking patterns rather than the different biomechanics used when swimming.
Each session the animal is re-assessed and their program adapted appropriately. To increase muscle strength and fitness the (workload) resistance can be increased by introducing water jets or by changing the speed of the treadmill.
The types of animals that would benefit from using the treadmill vary considerably from the older arthritic dog to those suffering orthopedic and neurological conditions that require rehabilitation to increase both limb range of motion, voluntary movement and muscle strength. It is also be helpful as part of a weight-loss program for any healthy overweight dogs.
All hydrotherapy sessions are supervised and can take up to approximately 30 minutes although at the beginning of their treatment they may only swim or walk for a few minutes.
The Ozone sanitized water in the treadmill is heated to approximately 30° to promote muscle relaxation and comfort.
Although some dogs are a little worried at first!
They soon have fun especially if they can bring a friend or two.