The underwater treadmill is used as a form of hydrotherapy for dogs and cats and is very beneficial in rehabilitation. The underwater treadmill uses the resistance and buoyancy of water to prevent bearing weight on an injured or disabled limb or joint. When submerged, the weight of the body is supported, reducing stress on the joints. The warm water can also facilitate muscle relaxation and tendon stretch.
Underwater treadmill therapy can:
- Assist with your pet's range of motion, muscle tone, coordination, and stamina.
- Improve balance, strength, endurance and the ability to weight bear on an injured limb.
- Help in the recovery of soft tissue injuries, fractures, and hip or elbow dysplasia.
- Rehabilitate arthritis, neurological impairments and geriatric issues.
- Aid in weight loss, postoperative care and joint pain.
While the underwater treadmill is a great rehabilitation tool, it is not appropriate for every pet and we do not use it if a pet is painful. A thorough evaluation by a rehabilitation specialist will determine if and when underwater treadmill therapy is appropriate for your pet.