Hydrotherapy—the therapeutic use of water—is an alternative treatment for chronic conditions, recovery from injury or surgery, obesity, and fitness training for pets. The Animal Care Center and K-9 Rehabilitation team provides beneficial hydrotherapy, including underwater treadmill and underwater e-stim therapy.
Uses for Hydrotherapy in Pet Care
As a complement to exercise and medication, hydrotherapy may reduce recovery time after surgery or slow progression of degenerative conditions. As part of a fitness regime, hydrotherapy allows the patient to improve or maintain condition both before surgery and while in rehabilitation.
Spinal injuries that cause impaired motor function may be treated with hydrotherapy, as a complement to surgical repair and medication. This combination of therapies allows the patient to continue exercising while nerve regeneration takes place. Degenerative conditions can make any weight-bearing exercise difficult, but hydrotherapy allows for supported movement in a comfortable and buoyant environment.
Obese patients can safely lose weight and become more fit by exercising in a hydrotherapy pool. Hydrotherapy may be used in building a fitness routine for competitive, hunting, police, and service dogs.
Underwater Treadmill Therapy
The underwater treadmill operates in comfortably warm water. The water provides pressure, resistance, and buoyancy during exercise to reduce tension and swelling, strengthen muscles, and ease the impact on joints. This offers the optimum environment for controlled exercise, especially in the case of obese, arthritic, or injured animals and those recovering from orthopedic surgery.
The underwater treadmill is widely used by our rehabilitation specialists to ease the pain of therapeutic exercise. It is also an excellent conditioning treatment for agility dogs, hunters, police dogs, and service animals.
Underwater Electrical Stimulation
Underwater electrical stimulation, or e-stim therapy, uses low levels of electrical current to stimulate nerves and muscles. When this therapy is applied in a warm water environment, it reduces pain and inflammation while aiding in developing muscle strength.
Aside from the reduction in pain and inflammation, e-stim therapy helps strengthen muscles and stimulate the nervous system. We frequently apply e-stim therapy after orthopedic surgery.
Contact our K-9 Rehabilitation team to discuss this therapy option.