Pooches of all shapes and sizes are now benefitting from the use of hydrotherapy on many different levels. Conditions such as dysplasia, arthritis, obesity, spinal injuries/diseases, and numerous other ailments are showing vast improvements, in many cases, with the implementation of a hydrotherapy program. Utilized as a way to speed recovery from injuries or surgery, as well as slow the progression of many degenerative disorders, hydrotherapy centers are a wave sweeping the nation.
Most commonly used for rehabilitation and strengthening in dogs, a variety of methods are available. Pools dedicated to our canine pals allow for year round exercise with the added benefit of buoyancy to relieve the pain and impact that some of our aging pets’ experience. Many veterinary clinics have seen the benefits that hydrotherapy provides and have installed endless pools and/or underwater treadmills to aid their patients in healing and staying active. In both cases, dogs are evaluated to determine their ability and then jet or treadmill settings are adjusted to ensure that the pet is receiving the maximum benefit of the treatment. For pets that suffer from osteoarthritis, staying active and in motion promotes joint health and slows the arthritic degeneration of the joint.
As always, pet owners should first speak to their pet’s veterinarian to discuss a hydrotherapy program and weigh the benefits to determine if it is the right treatment option for their pet. Often hydrotherapy is utilized as a complimentary treatment in association with primary care provided by the pet’s veterinarian. Owners should also ask their veterinarian for availability of hydrotherapy at their clinic or for referrals to an appropriate facility for their pet’s needs.
Ask us at Animal Central for more information on hydrotherapy or visit: http://www.healthypet.com/PetCare/PetCareArticle.aspx?art_key=c5437fc5-660f-4795-8073-e3ad8e0fe5df
Dr. George Stroberg, DVM and Staff