Hydrother­a­py is the appli­ca­tion of con­trolled phys­io­ther­a­py and pre­scrip­tive exer­cise deliv­ered in an aquat­ic envi­ron­ment. Using a lim­it­ed weight bear­ing envi­ron­ment with a greater inten­si­ty com­pared to air, the prop­er­ties of water can ben­e­fit pro­pri­o­cep­tion, range of motion, func­tion­al­i­ty, core strength and gait.

Why use an Under­wa­ter Treadmill?

We use an under­wa­ter tread­mill as opposed to a tra­di­tion­al pool  because this encour­ages a nor­mal gait pat­tern with the speed, resis­tance and water depth all con­trolled by the ther­a­pist. By using heat­ed sani­tised water we are also incor­po­rat­ing ther­mal ther­a­py, which helps to increase blood and lymph flow as well as pro­vid­ing a relax­ing envi­ron­ment for the animal.

An under­wa­ter tread­mill can be used to pro­vide ther­a­py in the form of gait pat­tern­ing and sequenc­ing, sta­t­ic and dynam­ic bal­ance work, con­trolled exer­cise as well as prac­tice of stand­ing, walk­ing and swim­ming. This can be tai­lored to be either low or high inten­si­ty, depend­ing upon the rea­son for referral.

Ben­e­fits of Hydrotherapy
• Increased range of move­ment of joints
• Improved proprioception
• Aids mus­cle strengthening,
• Reduced weight bear­ing on injured tissues
• Improved car­dio­vas­cu­lar fitness
• Increas­es speed of recovery
• Aids weight reduction
• Improves cir­cu­la­tion and lym­phat­ic drainage
• Decreas­es swelling and joint effusion
• Aids tran­si­tion to land based exercises

The con­di­tions which may ben­e­fit from hydrother­a­py are exten­sive and include:

  • Hip Dys­pla­sia – pre and post-operative
  • Elbow Dys­pla­sia – pre and post-operative
  • Legg- Calve- Perthes disease
  • Cra­nial Cru­ci­ate Lig­a­ment Rup­ture – Pre and post-operative
  • Patel­la Lux­a­tion – pre and post op
  • Post-oper­a­tive frac­ture repair
  • Soft Tis­sue (Muscle/Tendon) Injuries
  • Spinal injuries – to include inter­ver­te­bral disc dis­ease and spondylosis
  • Fibro­car­ti­lagi­nous embolisms
  • Osteoarthri­tis
  • Cer­vi­cal Mal­for­ma­tion syn­drome (wob­blers)
  • Chron­ic Degen­er­a­tive Redicu­lomyelopa­thy (CDRM)
  • Osteo­chon­dri­tis Desse­cans (OCD)
  • Obe­si­ty
  • Limb ampu­ta­tion
  • Strength and con­di­tion­ing for working/sporting dogs

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