Hydrotherapy is the use of water resistance to promote healing. It is a form of physiotherapy widely used in human sports and medicine. Rest alone is never enough to heal any injury or ailment. Bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments which make up the moving parts of an animal’s body are just that, moving parts. They were designed by nature to move.
At GymDog we have a small jacuzzi for smaller dogs and cats to swim and move against a current in a warm water filled pool. Animals with spinal and pelvic problems benefit from regular swimming to improve fitness, circulation, nerve stimulation, muscle tone and movement. Stiff older small dogs are one category and dachshunds, long-backed dogs are another which use our jacuzzi pool to great benefit.
Our underwater treadmill is the most modern form of hydrotherapy. It’s a warm water filled glass tank with a timed and speed controlled treadmill belt under the water. The effect is to create a symmetrical straight line, slow paced, walking challenge against water resistance. UWTT or underwater treadmill therapy as it is known. This has use for rehabilitation of dogs after cruciate surgery, spinal surgery, fracture repair, hip replacement.
At GymDog we will carry out an initial assessment of each patient, chat to the vet who did the surgery or previously saw your dog if necessary and decide with you what will best suit your dog. We will need to make sure it’s not too early for hydrotherapy; we are very cautious about introducing hydrotherapy too soon after surgery. Hydrotherapy may not be suitable for some juvenile ailments; puppies’ bones and joints must be mature enough to benefit from the working resistance of hydrotherapy. But it’s almost never too late for hydrotherapy.