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Hydrotherapy is a form of therapeutic exercise; it is carried out in warm water of temperatures between 28-32'c.

A pool or a water filled treadmill can be used to deliver the treatment depending on patient presentation, injury type, breed and the goals for the individual patient. 

The ultimate goal would be to restore the dog back to as normal activity as possible therefore increasing their quality of life. This will of course be relative to the dogs age and condition. 

We can use water to achieve different outcomes depending on how the therapy is carried out which means we can treat from an early protective phase onward; 

1. Restore limb compliance, rebuild confidence, gait re-education and pain relief

2. Increase range of movement & strengthen

3. Develop muscle hypertrophy (bulking)

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              WHY & HOW WATER WORKS…

 

  • Reduces limb speed in a protective capacity

  • Increases joint and soft tissue range of movement

  • Provides support either in a non-weight bearing or partially weight bearing capacity allowing for movements that would not necessarily be possible on land

  • Provides resistance to increase workload

  • Provides vigorous activity to increase cardiovascular output and strengthening which can be used for returning a dog to normal activity following a period of rest, for fitness and conditioning in sports dogs and for weight loss

 

We use a water treadmill because it facilitates functional closed chain movement. 

 

We can treat spinal & neurological conditions, commence early phase orthopaedic treatments, treat soft tissue and forelimb injuries while protecting the injury itself.

 

We have more control, can provide more input using water depth, speed, duration, and hand positioning, and create better proprioceptive input as the feet make contact with the belt of the treadmill.

 

So is lot more precise and we get a better all-around view of the patient.

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