Hydrotherapy can be defined as ” The use of water to relieve discomfort and promote physical well-being.”
What is Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy comes from the Greek for water (hydro) and treatment (therapy) and is the act of physiotherapy within water. The benefits of hydrotherapy for humans has been widely accepted and used for many years. Hydrotherapy can help lots of animals but it is especially useful for dogs. This is because dogs can suffer from a wide variety of musculoskeletal (muscle and bone) conditions. Whether its an injury like a torn ligament or a degenerative disease like osteoarthritis, hydrotherapy can help in many ways.
There are two main methods of hydrotherapy, swimming in a pool and walking on a treadmill that is submerged in water. At Moredge we have the facilities for both methods which allows us to tailor treatment for each patient.
Continue reading below to find out how hydrotherapy can help your dog!
Benefits of Hydrotherapy
The warm water and reduction in weight pressing on the limb when exercising reduces the perception of pain.
The movement in the warm water decreases inflammation which would otherwise lead to pain and swellings.
Especially post surgery or dogs that suffer from arthritis, the water helps relive the stiffness in the joints.
When joints become stiff and sore the dog uses them less. Hydrotherapy is great at bringing some of that mobility back.
Swellings can occur for many reasons, one is odema (the build up of fluid), often post surgery. Movement in the controlled warm water can help reduce this.
Decreasing weight and pain, while in the water, means hydrotherapy can help increase muscle mass or help prevent it from decreasing further.
Quality of life
Some dogs just cant get out and run like they used too. Be it cage rest post surgery or severe arthritis, coming to hydrotherapy is great for the mind as well as the body!
Managing weight is crucial when it comes to helping many conditions, especially life long arthritis! Hydro sessions burn calories, 20 mins in the treadmill is like running 5 miles!
Hydrotherapy isn’t just for injured or poorly dogs, its a great form of fitness too! Agility dogs benefit hugely and even some show dogs that want to build muscle and look the part!
Our pool is state of the art, with enough space for large dogs to turn and also specialised water jets to allow the dogs to swim against the current! Various conditions require the pool to be used, being buoyant and swimming means that 100% of the dogs weight isn’t pressing on the body. Watch the video of one of our patients using the treatment pool.
The underwater treadmill has been specially constructed to allow dogs to walk in one end and out the other. Like the pool there are conditions that are better suited to a treadmill. Depending on the level the water is raised different levels of the dogs weight can be displaced up to 80%. The treadmill allows the hydrotherapist to make sure their patient is walking correctly and using all limbs evenly.