What Is Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy utilises the properties of water to support rehabilitation and fitness. The therapeutic approach utilises buoyancy and resistance, to offer low-impact workouts and facilitate healing, muscle building, pain relief, nerve recovery and more. Whether your dog is recovering from surgery, managing a chronic condition, or simply aiming for fitness goals, hydrotherapy can be a beneficial solution. ​

What Are The Benefits of Hydrotherapy

  • Pain Relief: The buoyancy of water reduces pressure on joints and muscles, providing relief from pain and inflammation associated with conditions such as arthritis or orthopedic injuries.
  • Improved Mobility: Hydrotherapy exercises help improve joint flexibility, muscle strength, and overall range of motion, allowing dogs to move more freely and comfortably.
  • Muscle Strengthening: Water resistance helps build muscle strength and endurance, enhancing overall physical fitness and conditioning.
  • Accelerated Healing: Hydrotherapy promotes faster healing and recovery by increasing blood circulation, reducing swelling, and promoting tissue repair.
  • Weight Management: Hydrotherapy provides a low-impact, calorie-burning workout that can help overweight or obese dogs shed excess pounds and improve overall fitness.
  • Mental Stimulation: Swimming and aquatic exercises provide mental stimulation and enrichment for dogs, contributing to their overall well-being and happiness.

What Types Of Hydrotherapy Are There?

At CS Hydro Physio, we have an underwater treadmill and a hydrotherapy pool at both of our centers, meaning your dog always has the best possible option for treatment at any of our locations at any time. While both pieces of equipment are immensely beneficial, and many dogs would benefit from both, certain characteristics of each mean that a member of our team might tailor your dog’s treatment to use one piece of equipment over the other.

Hydrotherapy Pool (Swimming)

Our hydrotherapy pool is designed to provide a safe and supportive environment for dogs to swim and exercise. The buoyancy of water reduces stress on joints and muscles, making it an ideal therapy for dogs with mobility issues or chronic pain, arthritis, and reduced range of motion. Swimming in the hydrotherapy pool promotes cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, and overall well-being in dogs of all ages and fitness levels.

Underwater Treadmill (Resistance Walking)

The underwater treadmill is a specialized device that allows dogs to walk or run on a moving belt submerged in water.  This therapy provides controlled resistance based exercise, allowing for gait rehabilitation with partial weight-bearing, while still reducing the impact on joints. It is particularly beneficial for dogs recovering from surgery, who have suffered form neurological conditions, with muscle weakness, and for those who are nervous of swimming.

Would My Dog Benefit From Hydrotherapy

There are few dogs that wouldn’t benefit from hydrotherapy in one way or another. Due to your highly qualified team, our treatments are beneficial for dogs with a wide range of conditions and needs, including:

  • Joint injuries (e.g., cruciate ligament tears, hip dysplasia)
  • Soft tissue injuries (e.g., muscle tension and pain,  strains, sprains)
  • Neurological disorders (e.g., degenerative myelopathy, disc disease, FCE)
  • Arthritis and degenerative joint disease
  • Post-operative rehabilitation (e.g., after ortheopedic surgeries)
  • Muscle weakness/atrophy 
  • Obesity and weight management
  • General Fitness and Wellbeing 
  • Sports fitness 
  • Water confidence/puppy swim  

How Often Would My Dog Need Hydrotherapy?

When beginning hydrotherapy with a new dog, we recommend an introductory program, regardless of the reason you have come to hydrotherapy. This is because regular treatments over a period of time will kickstart muscle building and allow the effects to accumulate, achieving the best possible results. Following your introductory program, we recommend all dogs to stay with us for monthly maintenance. This helps maintain the muscle mass built and ensures that our experienced team keeps a close eye on your dog’s health, enhancing a happier, healthier dog long-term (who visits the vets less often).

Introductory Programme

We usually recommend 10 sessions during our introductory program, including your initial consultation. This will vary depending on your dog, their age (as age impacts muscle rebuilding and healing), and the condition they are suffering from.

Our standard program for most dogs includes:

  • Initial consultation
  • 1 treatment a week for 6 weeks
  • Two sessions at two-week intervals Two sessions at three-week intervals
  • Progressing onto to monthly maintenance

Older dogs or those with spinal conditions may require shorter, more frequent sessions to avoid fatigue and achieve muscle setting and healing as effectively as possible.

Monthly Maintenance

Monthly maintenance, or 4-weekly maintenance as it should perhaps be called, is where we see your dog for an hour session once every 4 weeks. This tried and tested format over the past 20 years is perfect for keeping your dogs ticking along at their very best. The idea is to catch any changes before they start to occur, meaning your dogs stay happy for longer, minimizing flare-ups, inflammation, and degenerative processes, managing compensations, preventing re-injury, and saving vet bills in the long run.

Some dogs may require more regular maintenance. This usually includes other arthritic dogs, dogs with degenerative spinal conditions, or those with partially severe injuries, amputations, or salvage procedures (femoral head and neck excision).

Beyond Hydrotherapy

At CS Hydro-Physio, we believe in a holistic approach to canine rehabilitation. In addition to hydrotherapy, we offer a range of physiotherapy techniques to enhance treatment outcomes. Our experienced therapists may incorporate manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, and other modalities to address specific musculoskeletal issues, improve joint mobility, and optimize overall function.

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