Hydrotherapy is used to treat and prevent conditions related to mobility and comfort. These can be caused by ageing, illness or injury.
What is hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy has been used to treat humans since the 19th century for everything from improving blood flow to reducing stress. Nowadays it’s mostly used to relieve pain and improve mobility in both humans and dogs.
How can hydrotherapy help your dog?
The buoyancy and warmth of water can ease your dog’s symptoms and help them feel comfortable before and after operations. It can also be used to alleviate symptoms that are a natural result of getting older. Most dogs enjoy water, so hydrotherapy is a stress-free way to relieve pain in their joints, muscles and limbs.
What conditions can hydrotherapy help with?
Hydrotherapy can help soothe conditions such as:
- Joint injury and disease
- Pain, swelling and stiffness
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Spinal injuries
- Ligament problems
- Limb amputation
It can also be beneficial alongside other therapy to improve:
- Muscle strength and condition
- Cardiovascular fitness (heart and lungs)
- Weight control
- Joint flexibility and range of motion
- Balance and coordination
- Energy levels
- Management of pain and stress
How often should a dog have hydrotherapy?
This depends on your dog’s needs and fitness level. Your vet will advise you on an appropriate treatment plan.
How does hydrotherapy help dogs with arthritis?
There are two types of hydrotherapy for arthritis: underwater treadmills and dog pools. The resistance of water helps strengthen and build muscle around the joints and improves flexibility, without the harsher impact of exercise on the ground. The warmth of the water also relaxes stiff muscles to reduce inflammation in the joints.
Your vet can recommend a suitable diet and supplements for your dog, alongside physical and hydrotherapy.
How long is a hydrotherapy session?
Sessions can last between 30 and 60 minutes depending on your pet’s needs and abilities.
What types of hydrotherapy can dogs have?
Treatment options include whirlpools, underwater treadmills and dog pools. Which type your dog needs will depend on their fitness level and condition.
Make sure you get a referral from your vet before booking hydrotherapy, and consult with them during the referral process to establish the right treatment for your dog.