Water therapy, also called hydrotherapy has been widely used for people and dogs because of the substantial benefits of exercising in water. In an underwater treadmill treatment session, the height of the water and speed of the treadmill can be adjusted by the therapist to attain specific goals designed for each dog. The Aquapaws unit used by Pawlouse Veterinary Therapy is state-of-the-art. It provides computerized customization programs and allows adjustment of resistance level for all dogs from injury recovery to the elite athlete.
Hydrotherapy is an effective and safe tool to use after surgery. It helps decrease pain and swelling, increase joint mobility, increase muscle strength and restore a normal gait pattern. Geriatric dogs love the buoyancy and warmth of the water, which enables them to move with less compression on their joints, thereby reducing pain and building strength.
Underwater treadmill conditioning is also great for weight loss in overweight dogs. One of the best and most proven methods to decrease lameness in dogs with osteoarthritis is weight loss. The underwater treadmill is also utilized successfully to build endurance and strength in performance dogs. Dogs that compete in agility, conformation, fly ball and other demanding canine sporting events benefit from underwater treadmill work.