Under Water Treadmill
Our state of the art hydrotherapy treadmill enables pets to achieve a low impact but highly aerobic workout, strengthening and re-educating the dog’s limbs and muscles with little pressure on the joints. The warm water helps to relax tight and spasming muscles, increase and improve circulation and blood flow, facilitate healing and increase flexibility and mobility. The water’s buoyancy decreases the amount of weight bearing on the animal’s joints, making it possible for pets with painful conditions such as hip or elbow dysplasia and arthritis to work more comfortably and effectively than on land. It also assists those who are unsteady or unable to stand due to pain or weakness, helping them to begin weight bearing again. With the hydrotherapy treadmill, we are able to control all variables, such as speed, resistance and depth, which allows for a consistently progressive treatment plan.
Swimming can be used as part of the rehabilitation program to help improve awareness of limbs and assist in return of neuromuscular function. It is a unique form of therapy as it combines joint range of motion, gentle muscle endurance and strengthening and improved circulation and cardiovascular conditioning without weight bearing. Dogs recovering from orthopedic or soft tissue injury or surgery, or those with chronic conditions, will often start with underwater treadmill in the acute stages of rehabilitation when we want to accelerate strengthening, and in the later stages of rehabilitation as they are improving, move onto swimming. This is because swimming is more vigorous and we have less control over the intensity of limb movement. It is also more of an endurance type exercise and we get less rapid gains in strength and muscle mass than with underwater treadmill.
We also use our pool to teach dogs of all ages how to swim and become comfortable in the water. Many dogs have negative associations with water or are fearful and will panic, which can lead to drowning. Our dogs all wear floatation devices when in the water and are accompanied by one of our instructors at all times. And yes! We also use our pool for fun!!
Underwater Treadmill VS Swimming
Swimming is a very different type of movement when compared to walking. When looking to improve function, it is important to understand that you can only get better at things that you practice. Since walking is a major function of the dogs life, we should help them practice walking. Swimming can be used when looking for improvements in cardiovascular endurance, core strength, or when swimming is the actual task we are trying to get better at. It is also important to note, that we have very little control over the speed at which the patient is swimming. Speed is a fundamental exercise variable, and without being able to adjust it, we could easily overwork a dog recovering from surgery, injury or disease.
Canine Remedial Massage
Canine remedial massage can help your four legged friend in many ways. Not only can it help to improve movement in the dog’s joints by warming and stretching the muscles, allowing the dog to do day to day activities more easily and with less pain, but the list goes on beyond that:
• Calm and Relax
• Increase Flexibility and Range of Motion
• Restore Natural Gait and Balance
• Relieve Muscle Tension, Adhesions and “Knots”
• Sooth Sore Muscles and Joints
• Hasten Recovery from Injury
• Contribute to Post-Surgical Rehabilitation
• Prevent Injury
• Make your dog feel great.
Massage is particularly great for older dogs as it helps to reduce pain and stiffness common in aging dogs, making it easier for them to get to their feet, stabilize themselves, and move about comfortably. Massage also promotes circulation, bringing nutrients and warmth to extremities, helpful for those dogs whose mobility is limited. Massage can shorten recovery time post orthopaedic surgery or soft tissue injury, prevent problems caused by muscle atrophy, decrease pain and discomfort, aid in preventing post-surgical re-injury, reduce scarring, and adhesion and ease the transition back to normal activity levels.
Regular massage and stretching can increase a dog’s range of motion, lengthen its stride and improve over-all muscle tone, all contributing to quicker and tighter turns, cleaner jumping and better times for our canine athletes competing in agility, fly-ball, obedience, field trials and other sporting activities.
Ultrasound and Electrotherapy
Therapeutic ultrasound uses sound waves passed through tissue for the treatment of tendon and ligament injuries, and also to help with the pain associated with arthritic joints and soft tissues damage. This treatment method has been shown in clinical and scientific trials to increase collagen extensibility, enhance collagen production and remodeling, increase heat in deep tissues, increase blood and lymphatic flow, increase range of motion, reduce pain and muscle spasm, and accelerate wound healing.
We use electrotherapy in the form of our PainPod. Pain is felt when pain receptors in the affected area deliver pain signals to the brain via the Central Nervous System. The PainPod works by delivering small bio-electrical nerve stimulation pulses through the skin to the nerve endings in the affected area, blocking the pain signals from traveling to the brain. Working in a similar way to a painkilling drug, but lessening the potential health risks and side effects, PainPod closes the gate on the pain messages, at the same time, gentle bio-pulses pass through the body tissues and muscle groups, stimulating blood-flow and improving circulation, speeding the body’s natural healing or conditioning process. PainPod’s unique waveform of these electrical pulses mimics the body’s natural contractions, allowing signals to reach deeper into the muscle fibers without fatiguing or stressing the muscle, helping the body to deliver more nutrients and remove excess waste from the targeted area.
This is often the most cost-effective therapy with outstanding results. It is easily implemented and can be used to preserve range of movement, maintain muscle mass, and challenge healing tissues during recovery. An important factor here is to acknowledge the appropriate exercise when treating different patients. We tailor programs to suit each individual.
RockTape Canine can be used as either a sole or an adjunctive treatment in canine therapy. It can be used to reduce or control pain, manage swelling or oedema, increase joint range of motion and muscle function, and maintain a level of functionality and comfort for the dog throughout the rehabilitation process. It can also be used to assist the canine to maintain functionality and comfort in training and assist with recovery, thus facilitating overall soundness in the equine athlete.