The Canine Hydrotherapy and Rehabilitation Centreis the largest purpose built hydrotherapy centre for dogs in the country. Our doggie swimming pool measures 11 metres long x 5 metres wide x 1.2 metres deep. We also have an underwater treadmill which can be very beneficial for treating a number of ailments and also for weight management and fitness training for your dog. Click here to learn more about the underwater treadmill.
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Hydrotherapy for Dogs through Deep Water Swimming
Our large, custom built heated, indoor pool is 11 metres x 5 metres in size and 1.2 metres deep allows a hydrotherapist to enter into the water with your dog. Hydrotherapy is so much more than just swimming laps in a pool. By being in the water with your dog, the therapist is able to combine gentle warm water massage with swimming and ensure full range of motion is achieved.
The hydrotherapist is also on hand to help your dog to gain their confidence in the pool environment and to offer reassurance if necessary. Being in the water also allows us to connect with your dog and they quickly learn to trust and relax, thereby aiding in the rehabilitation process.
Many dogs continue to visit our centre after their initial rehabilitative swims for enjoyment, maintenance and as a fun alternative to regular exercise. We find that most non-swimming dogs are beginning to relax and enjoy their hydrotherapy session by the 2nd or 3rd visit. Of course there are those dogs that just can’t wait to get started on the 1st visit.
Our large pool allows your dog to swim naturally – there is no artificial current to swim against. Your dog is able to enter and exit the water via a wide non-slip ramp. We don’t employ the use of a hoist/harness system.
A greater range of motion is achieved with deep water swimming, as swimming in a pool is non-weight bearing, compared to underwater treadmills where there is still contact with a surface. Using the injured limb in the pool helps dogs to regain the confidence to use the limb on land.
Hydrotherapy for dogs using the Underwater Treadmill
Clients also have access to the underwater treadmill which is an important piece of equipment in the treatment of certain conditions. The underwater treadmill plays a particularly important role in the rehabilitation of dogs with spinal and orthopaedic conditions, speeding up recovery times in most patients. It is also of benefit in the treatment of soft tissue injuries and early stage degenerative conditions. Dogs with conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia, osteoarthritis and patella luxation have also benefited greatly from sessions in the underwater treadmill.
Weight management and fitness training for all dogs are also giving astonishing results with the ability to alter both the depth of the water and the speed of the treadmill. Extra resistance can be provided to further promote the use of limbs and speed up the process of rebuilding muscle mass. Often a combination of pool and underwater treadmill can be enormously beneficial.
Benefits of the Canine Underwater Treadmill
Our treadmill builds muscles and cardiovascular strength in a partially buoyant environment that reduces stress and concussion by up to 60%. The dog exercises in a controlled environment, in a straight line on a flat surface, using its normal gait, with full range of motion and using the same muscles that it uses on traditional surfaces.
One big advantage of the treadmill is that the limb movements can also be observed and assessed from outside.
Unlike swimming which uses a different set of muscles and does not replicate the workout that the dog receives on land, the treadmill builds topline and leg muscles with added benefits of warm water jets.
Many dogs that won't put weight on an injured limb outside the tank, more readily engage in gentle movement in water.
Dogs who suffer spinal injury often have to relearn to walk. Their physiotherapist can apply gentle physical manipulation while the patient is in the tank. This speeds recovery of the neurovasuclar system.
Patients healing from fractures in which immobilization is necessary, often perform well when exercise is first initiated in water.
Hot spots will heal faster because of the sanitation system in the water as long as the patient is dried thoroughly in affected area.