Following an initial consultation with Dr. Ilana, it may be determined that use of the underwater treadmill is an appropriate treatment for your pet as part of his/her custom treatment plan. Below we describe how the therapy works and the many benefits it can offer your pet.
Underwater treadmills are perhaps one of the best ways to help your pet do what they were born to do: walk, run, play, swim…explore their world freely and without physical limitation or pain. The treadmill leverages your dog’s natural gait – the way they walk – to improve their range of motion, while the natural resistance of the water also builds strength and flexibility. The major benefit to the aquatic environment is increased buoyancy which means a decrease in weight on your dog’s skeleton and joints. With buoyancy, it becomes easier to move, pain is eased, and the circulation will improve. In addition, the temperature of the water feels good and, even if they experienced reluctance initially, our patients become willing to move through the treatment once they see it as a fun experience!
Underwater treadmills are safe and effective for a broad spectrum of patients but do not offer a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Dr. Ilana is careful to craft an individual treatment plan specifically tailored to your pet’s needs, and measures success by analyzing the improvement in muscle strength, joint function, body composition, gait, stamina, range of motion, and ease of movement.
Hydrotherapy in conjunction with veterinary treatment can significantly improve your dog’s rate of healing following surgery or traumatic injury. After surgery, the careful use of hydrotherapy can help with rehabilitation and increase your dog’s chance of a successful return to full fitness. In fact, many neurologic cases are able to bear weight on their limbs and walk on a underwater treadmill before they will start to use their legs to stand and walk on land. Hydrotherapy helps greatly with strengthening and retraining a dog who has been partially paralyzed to walk again.
What's more, hydrotherapy is an extremely effective method of rehabilitation for dogs small and large. Studies have shown that, with hydrotherapy, dogs recovering from surgery or injury heal up to 50 or 60 percent faster than with other therapeutic methods. How? Well .... The buoyancy provided by water lessens the weight-bearing load on an dog’s limbs. This helps reduce pain and lets the dog start therapy earlier. Water applies pressure on a dog’s limbs, which helps decrease inflammation and improve circulation. By changing the water level, resistance and buoyancy can be changed to target individual muscle groups and injuries. Water temperature can be changed as well to help the animal relax and further alleviate pain. Muscle conditioning in water is not only an effective way of building up cardiovascular strength and endurance, but dogs often find it fun!
Following an initial consultation with Dr. Ilana, it may be determined that use of the Warm Water Resistance Pool is an appropriate treatment for your pet as part of his/her custom treatment plan. Below we describe what it is and list the many benefits that hydrotherapy can offer your pet.
In their natural environment, many dogs love to swim. Diving into the waves at the beach or doggie-paddling in the pond, they experience a physical freedom that is not available on land. Plus it’s fun! The Warm Water Resistance Pool mimics this experience while also leveraging the naturally therapeutic properties of water – buoyancy and resistance – to improve your dog’s cardiovascular conditioning, and to assist in physical rehabilitation.
In a controlled and non-threatening environment, hydrotherapy is an important tool in treating a wide variety of conditions because it works in two ways simultaneously. Firstly, the increased buoyancy relieves pressure on the dog’s skeleton and joints; and secondly, the water pressure on their limbs decreases inflammation, eases pain, and improves circulation. This significant reduction in pain and relief to the weight-bearing joints, means that a treatment plan can frequently be drawn up sooner and therapy can begin more quickly.
Dr. Ilana has found that there are several main categories of patient who benefit from the Warm Water Resistance Pool:
Hydrotherapy has been show to offer direct benefits to many of your dog’s major systems:
Hydrotherapy Does Wonders for Dogs http://baywoof.com/featured-article/hydro-therapy-does-wonders-for-dogs/
Check out this article about hydrotherapy from The Bark: http://thebark.com/content/hydrotherapy-dog-walk-water?page=show
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Interested to see a patient enjoying their swim in a Warm Water Resistance Pool? Click on this video to watch!