Humans have used water for healing injuries and aches for a long time. Water therapy (commonly known as Hydrotherapy) includes swimming, water aerobics, saunas, whirlpool baths, and mineral baths. Water provides buoyancy and resistance, making them ideal to strengthen muscles and build endurance without placing stress on joints. Bathing in warm water can also dilate blood vessels and relax joints and muscles, easing aches and pains and aiding in the healing of injuries. For dogs, this form of therapy came about more recently.
An underwater treadmill is a tool that has become popular among veterinary and rehabilitation practices. It is used in a very specific, structured way tailored to the individual dogs.
The low-impact nature of underwater treadmill exercise allows for its use in patients of all ages. It offers ‘on-demand’ control of an exercise program and allows more specific modifications to be made. The depth of the water and speed of the treadmill can be quickly adjusted to provide different experiences for your dog. This allows the exercise to be tailored more specifically to the overall goal of hydrotherapy and each dog’s unique needs and possible limitations.
Water therapy can treat Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries, neurological problems, other orthopaedic conditions, post-surgery healing and recovery, weight loss, and metabolic conditions.