Underwater Treadmill or Hydrotherapy for Dogs is not a complete Rehabilitation Program
We get regular enquiries from people who have been advised to book their dogs in for Underwater Treadmill therapy (hydrotherapy) to assist in recovery after orthopaedic surgery or other musculo-skeletal conditions.
While aquatic therapies such as Underwater Treadmill (UWTM) or pool swimming can be extremely beneficial as part of a rehabilitation program. They are not suitable for all musculo-skeletal conditions.
Hydrotherapy for dogs should not be seen as a standalone therapy for these cases. Instead it should be a small part of a larger rehabilitation program incorporating multiple modalities & therapies.
We’ve had dogs referred to us for UWTM that couldn’t even stand following spinal surgery – let alone walk. In these cases – UWTM therapy ALONE is not a good starting point for therapy.
Others have just had orthopaedic procedures which involve healing of delicate tissue and internal implants. In these cases – the powerful forces generated by walking through water in a Underwater Treadmill can do more harm than good.
This is because – at this stage we need to concentrate more on strengthening the stabiliser muscles rather than the locomotor muscles.
What is a Rehabilitation Program?
A rehabilitation program is one that is made up of modalities & therapies specifically selected based on your pet’s condition. The program may or may not initially include any aquatic therapies such as UWTM or swimming. These may be introduced at a later stage in the program.
🐶How do I know if Hydrotherapy is right for my Dog?
In the Human world – your orthopaedic surgeon or Doctor doesn’t prescribe a recovery plan. They would refer you to a Physiotherapist who creates that program for you.
In pets – it works the same way.
Our Certified Rehabilitation Veterinarians conduct a full Rehabilitation Assessment from which a tailored program is prescribed. This might include multiple modalities – specifically designed for your pet’s needs.