Hydrotherapy Process

Available in our Hillingdon practice, hydrotherapy for dogs offers a plethora of benefits for the recovery of dogs of all sizes. The process commences with getting the dog used to walking on a moving surface within an enclosed environment (the water treadmill). Once the animal is sufficiently adjusted to this, the water level within the compartment is gradually raised to the required level to provide optimal support/ resistance.

General Applications

  • Arthritis
  • Body/ Fitness conditioning
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Fitness and fun
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Muscle weakness
  • Neurological conditions
  • Stable fractures (post operative)
  • Tendon/ Ligament injuries
  • Weight loss

Water Treadmill Advantages

The advantages of using a water treadmill for the treatment of dogs are manifold and include the ability to:

  •  Observe the process of treatment from all sides
  •  Allow early rehabilitation from spinal injuries and after surgery
  •  Adjust water height to increase/decrease weight-bearing and to achieve required movements
  •  Adjust duration and speed to achieve optimal gait and adapt exercise levels to improve fitness

Offering our therapist the ability to accompany the animal and guide, support and re-educate (in terms of gait) as and when required through special foot-placing.

The treadmill is perfect for exercising dogs while providing the support of warm water to gain a good range of limb movement and encouraging foot placement, extension and flexion within a highly controlled environment.

Treatment Benefits

  • Pain reduction and increase of sensory perception
  • Relaxing of muscle tension/spasms
  • Reduction of swelling (oedema)
  • Increase of joint movement range and  muscle tone, bulk and strength
  • Improvement of muscle recruitment and patterning (particularly important for dogs needing to learn to walk again following spinal surgery)
  • Prevention of secondary complications resulting from gait abnormalities, limb disuse and/ or muscle contracture
  • Slowing of the progression of degenerative disease (including degenerative myelopathy and osteoarthritis) effects

Helping dogs to return to their normal life / work earlier, which, of course, is particularly important for police/ assistance dogs, hydrotherapy can also significantly improve the quality of life for disabled and/ or older dogs. It can also be effectively used to assist dogs overcoming hydrophobia and has been found to be beneficial for dogs with respiratory of heart problems.