What is hydrotherapy?
The definition of hydrotherapy is a physiotherapy programme utilising properties of water. The programme should be specified for a patient to maximise physical function. Either by rehabilitating due to injury, medical condition or operation, or for performance enhancement, for example, an agility dog or a working gun dog.
Working in water is either controlled or non-weight bearing and therefore has low impact on any joints. Which enables the patient to work a bit harder without causing too much distress on the joints/muscles.
The effects and physical properties of water, such as density, hydrostatic pressure and buoyancy are highly resources for rehabilitation and performance enhancement when used as a counterbalance to gravity resistance, a compressor and a thermal conductor. The aquatic medium enables a wider range of activities to be used in a context of low joint impact, and the patient is ensured greater comfort for the patient. It enables the stimulation of metabolic and neuromuscular systems, followed by corresponding physiological adaptations allowing both to maintain and improve performance.
Treatment takes place in warm sanitized water whose temperature is usually between 28 – 32°C.
The intended effects of hydrotherapy are to aid in the:
- relief of pain
- reduction of swelling and stiffness
- improvement of circulation
- improvement of core strength
- strengthening of muscles
- increase of range of motion
- improvement of cardiovascular fitness
- increase of proprioception
- enhancement of tissue healing
- speed of recovery
What to expect?
Prior to the commencement of treatment, we will liaise with your veterinary surgery to make sure we have an up to date history to provide the best treatment for your pet. We understand how upsetting and stressful it can be when having an injured or disabled dog and will do everything we can to assist you through this difficult time.
Our hydrotherapists assess each animal on their first visit, from this assessment we then devise a treatment plan suitable for your dog. The treatment starts at the end of the assessment this includes floor work, then shower work before the dog starts treatment in the pool. Your dog will be showered before and after entering the pool and will be towel dried after the session.
A further health check will be performed prior to each session and the animal’s progress discussed.