Hydrotherapy can be considered as a broad spectrum of treatments utilised within an aquatic environment ensuring a reduction of load on the body, due to controlled buoyancy. This ensures an accurate assessment of the animal’s range of movement and general ability.
At the Animal Rehabilitation Centre we employ both our large heated canine hydrotherapy swimming pool and our purpose built canine underwater treadmill.
Hydrotherapy is used to help treat the following:
- Joint mobility
- Muscle power
- Central nervous system/ sensory awareness
- Pain control
- Muscle tone and density
- Posture, balance and co-ordination
- Tissue repair
- Weight loss
- Increased speed of recovery
Performing specialist Aquatherapy techniques in the water ensures maximum rehabilitation impact with minimal discomfort to the patient in a comfortable, relaxed and enjoyable environment.
The absence of loading on the body allows treatments to be carried out in the water which the animal would find difficult or impossible on land. This allows an animal to regain normal movement and mobility much quicker than would otherwise be possible.
Regular and correct movement of a joint or muscle group ensures the brain and central nervous system continue to recognise the ability of the area and continue sending the impulse messages required to achieve effective mobility.
A site affected by illness,surgery or injury will very quickly cease to be used by the animal if it finds movement painful or too difficult. In a particularly short space of time the brain begins to stop sending messages of stimulation to the area and the problem becomes self-perpetuating.
At ARC we pride ourselves in ensuring we use specific techniques to‘re-train’ the animals brain and body to work together with the least amount of pain and discomfort.
The added bonus of using the water in an animal’s rehabilitation plan is that swimming is instinctive for them. Human beings have to learn the art of swimming but an animal just reacts naturally, this means that most patients very quickly gain confidence in their ability and start to enjoy their sessions.
Many of our patients who have completed successful rehabilitation programmes still come back for a ‘fun swim’ so they don’t miss out on all the benefits of aqua exercise and the enjoyable mental stimulation.