With over 20 years experience working with animals, Therapaws Canine Hydrotherapy and Fitness has become Canberra and surrounding regions only dedicated integrated health and fitness facility for pets offering the use of hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, gym rehabilitation and swimming to help your pets be the best they can be; whether it's for post operative care, pain management, rehabilitation or fitness, your pets needs are catered for.
Canine hydrotherapy involves the use of swimming and underwater treadmills to help dogs recover following surgery or injury, and for pets with more long term mobility problems.
To ensure safety and appropriate treatment, hydrotherapy should be carried out by appropriately qualified and trained hydrotherapists to improve an animal's function in a purpose built, and suitably heated hydrotherapy pool or underwater treadmill.
There are many potential benefits to our pets when they undertake regular hydrotherapy including:
Canine underwater treadmill hydrotherapy involves placing your dog on a specifically designed treadmill, filling it with an appropriate level of water and walking, sounds simple right? How can a simple action like walking underwater have such huge benefits for our furry friends?
Hydrotherapy is still a relatively new concept in the Australian veterinary industry, however, hydrotherapy in humans has been around for a long time and the benefits are now being transferred to our pets.
The resistance of the water in the treadmill provides your pets with gentle non-weight bearing exercise whilst engaging their core muscles, activating hind limbs more effectively than swimming, provides controlled fitness development and helps build muscle strength in areas often associated with injury - particularly cruciate ruptures, luxating patellas and spinal defects such as IVDD and spondylosis. As the dog needs to engage its core to balance in the water, this ensures that weight is distributed evenly through the spine, and all 4 legs. This is particularly important with dogs with hip dysplasia, as the only way they can maintain correct movement is for the soft tissue to be toned and strengthened enough to hold the ball joint as close in the socket as is possible, slowing the process of calcification in the socket.
When adjusting the ratio of water to suit your pets needs, we can take up to 90% of their body weight off the joints to ensure conditioning and strengthening of all soft tissue, without any impact to your pets joints.
The underwater treadmill is also extremely beneficial for pups growing, to ensure even muscle development of growing puppies, and incredibly beneficial for performance dogs, as it can build stamina, cardio strength and correct muscle strengthening, all within a safe environment without any chance of injury or joint impact.
Post surgery, the underwater treadmill is safe to begin as soon as stitches are removed. The sooner we start, the less likely complications can arise as well as not allowing for to much muscle wastage. Whilst hard ground exercise cannot be performed before 6 weeks post op, hydrotherapy is certainly safe and beneficial to start. Pool swimming however if not advised till at least 8 weeks post surgery due to non structured non controlled exercise so tendon straining is a big risk.