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Hydrotherapy For Pet Rehabilitation

Hydrotherapy For Pet Rehabilitation

Hydrotherapy is the ideal method for your pet's rehabilitation, providing low-impact exercise and enjoyment while recovering from injuries or surgery. Our Parrish vets will elaborate on the benefits of hydrotherapy for pets.

What Is Hydrotherapy ?

Hydrotherapy, also referred to as aquatic therapy, offers pets a form of physical therapy that harnesses the buoyancy of water. With the guidance of a certified hydrotherapist, your pet engages in a series of exercises within a water-based environment.

This low-impact treatment has the potential to enhance your pet's strength, range of motion, and endurance. By taking advantage of the buoyancy properties of water, weight-bearing stress on the joints is reduced, mitigating the risk of tissue injuries, inflammation, and pain.

What Conditions Can Aquatic Therapy Help Treat?

Aquatic therapy is beneficial for:

  • Post-operative recovery from orthopedic procedures
  • Pets with neurological conditions
  • Pets suffering from painful osteoarthritis
  • Helping overweight pets get the exercise they need to lose weight
  • Pets dealing with pain due to hip dysplasia
  • Metabolic conditions such as Cushing’s and diabetes which can result in muscle atrophy
  • Paralyzed pets

Aquatic therapy can also be used as a training tool to help working pets reach optimal fitness levels.

How Does Aquatic Therapy Work?

Aquatic therapy harnesses the unique properties of water, including buoyancy, resistance, viscosity, and hydrostatic pressure, to facilitate the rehabilitation of your pet's painful joints and limbs. By manipulating the water level, your pet can engage in zero-impact swimming, offering gentle exercise and relief.

When the water level is adjusted to allow your pet's feet to touch the underwater treadmill, the buoyancy of the water enables them to "run" on the treadmill with reduced stress on their painful limbs.

The buoyancy provided by water significantly diminishes the stress placed on your pet's limbs and joints, enabling them to partake in enjoyable exercises that expedite their recovery from injuries or aid in weight loss.

Typically, warm water is utilized to relax muscles and hasten the recovery process for injured pets, while colder water is suitable for working pets seeking a more vigorous workout in the aquatic environment.

Different Types Of Aquatic Therapy For Pets 

Depending on your pet's requirements, we may choose the 2,500-gallon heated in-ground swimming pool or an underwater treadmill. 

Underwater Treadmill

An underwater treadmill provides a controlled and gradual approach to weight-bearing exercises by adjusting the water level and manipulating buoyancy. This allows us to introduce your pet to targeted exercises at different levels of weight-bearing.

By setting the water level to about hip level, your pet will experience approximately half the normal weight on their limbs. This reduction in weight-bearing stress is particularly beneficial for pets with joint issues and arthritis.

The use of our underwater treadmill is a common and effective treatment method for pets facing such conditions. It allows them to engage in therapeutic exercises that promote joint mobility, muscle strength, and overall well-being while minimizing discomfort and strain on their limbs.

Pet Pools

Swimming and performing guided exercises in our pet pool provide your pet with a non-weight-bearing way to get joints moving, build strength, and have a personalized cardio workout. This form of aquatic therapy is especially effective for osteoarthritis and weaknesses related to neurological conditions.

Pet Whirlpools

Some pet rehabilitation centers are equipped to provide their four-legged patients with Jacuzzi-style treatments. Whirlpools provide a massage-like benefit while helping to relax muscles.

Is Aquatic Therapy Good For All Pets?

No. Aquatic therapy is not ideal for all pets. Some injuries do not respond well to this therapy, and pets suffering from an unstable spine should not take part in aquatic therapy. Speak to your vet or schedule a health exam with our vets to learn more about the right rehabilitation therapy for your pet.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. Always follow your doctor's advice regarding asthma or other allergy symptoms. 

Are you wondering whether your pet should be brought in for a health exam? Contact Ellenton Animal Hospital for an examination and assessment of your pet.

New Patients Welcome

Ellenton Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Parrish companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact (941) 776-1100