Hydrotherapy is derived from the Greek word meaning
water healing. It is controlled exercise in heated, sanitised water. It can be used both pre and post operation and can also be used to improve overall health and fitness of any dog.
The main benefits of hydrotherapy are:
- Non/low weight bearing exercise
- Pain relief
- Relief from stiff arthritic joints
- Improved mobility of joints
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Improved blood circulation
- Weight loss
- Muscle strengthening and building up muscle to support joints
- Conditioning pre surgery
- Rehabilitation post surgery
The Properties of Water
There are six main properties that are being used during hydrotherapy, these all benefit the dog in their own way. These six properties are;
- By using swim jets the turbulence can be increased offering more resistance for a dog to swim against which is very good for improving cardio vascular fitness.
- Hydrostatic pressure
- As you go deeper in water the pressure increases .This helps reduce swelling.
- Water resistance
- This helps to increase muscle strength and size as well as improving cardiovascular fitness.
- Warm water causes the blood vessels to open up, allowing better blood flow and more oxygen to be carried around the body. This improves the effectiveness of the muscles.
- This reduces/ eliminates weight bearing on the joints of a dog, allowing for exercise without the usual pressure on joints a dog would experience on land.
- This is essentially the thickness of the water which offers more support and resistance.