About Hydrotherapy

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The rehabilitation department at the 404 is supported by a unique on-site hydrotherapy centre called “Bailey’s Place”, featuring an indoor pool with resistance jets, as well as two underwater treadmills.

We feel so strongly about the evidence-based results from rehabilitation that we’ve decided to bundle 6 rehabilitation sessions into EVERY KNEE SURGERY PERFORMED at the 404. Together with the surgical expertise of our ACVS surgeons, your dog (or cat!) will have the gold standard in post-operative care.

Veterinarians across Canada are increasingly recognizing the importance of hydrotherapy for dogs. Canine hydrotherapy involves a variety of physical therapy treatments performed in an aquatic environment. It can be an essential rehabilitation tool for treating dogs recovering from injury or surgery. Aging pets suffering from arthritis or geriatric muscle loss can also benefit a great deal from hydrotherapy. A veterinarian certified in rehabilitation can identify important problem areas like muscle or joint dysfunction as well as key trigger points or areas of muscle spasm.

Hydrotherapy uses the principles of buoyancy to facilitate activity in dogs with a variety of rehabilitation needs. Everything floats up in water, so a dog can more easily flex an arthritic knee in water because the foot tends to readily float to the surface.

Hip deep in water, a dog weighs only 39 per cent of its land-based weight. This reduced weight burden means less strain on joints, greater range of motion and enhanced comfort for the patient.

Underwater Treadmill

The underwater treadmill is a key tool in the practice of canine hydrotherapy. It is ideal for strengthening the hind leg muscles. Buoyancy and the associated reduction in weight load contribute to better joint nutrition and greater hip extension. For patients with hip dysplasia, this aids in the essential lengthening of tense hip flexor muscles.

Patients recovering from disc herniation surgery benefit tremendously from the increased movement available in an aquatic environment. Walking on the treadmill also provides patients with disc disease, strokes, degenerative myelopathy or other neurological conditions important stimulation for repetitive gait patterning.

Free Swimming

While the underwater treadmill is most suited to hind end strengthening, free swimming in a pool helps with recruitment of front leg muscles as well as the core abdominal and paraspinal muscles. Rehabilitation facilities will often incorporate both modes of hydrotherapy in their programs.

If you feel your pet may benefit from hydrotherapy, your veterinarian can refer you to 404 Veterinary Referral Information. Contact us for more information.