It is hard when your adorable mutt hurts or injures itself and is unable to walk. You take it to the veterinarian who prescribes the medicine and also recommends hydrotherapy. Now you wonder, why anybody would recommend therapy with water for dogs, knowing how afraid they are of water. So, you think that the veterinarian is not worth and go for a second opinion. Only to be told by the second one too to go for hydrotherapy. Might one ask, that though they are afraid of water, you still give them a bath, don’t you? Then why not try hydrotherapy? The fact that many a veterinarian will tell you is that hydrotherapy is the best way to improve blood circulation in the affected body part and also to relieve pain. Here’s all you wanted to know about hydrotherapy for dogs.
Canine Hydrotherapy And Its Benefits
What Is Canine Hydrotherapy?
As we all know, hydrotherapy uses water externally for therapeutic purposes; the purpose behind using water is to act as a medium for applying mechanical energy to the tissues of the body and also to generate pressure effect. Veterinarians often recommend the usage of this kind of therapy to cure pain caused by injuries in dogs. Its main aim is to bring down the swelling in the affected area and improve the blood circulation to that very body part and can prove to be beneficial for both acute as well as chronic problems. The common places in the dogs' body where hydrotherapy can be used are legs, paws, and bone joints. It is especially effective in reducing the discomfort from a bee sting, spider bite, and snakebite. Generally, hydrotherapy is given in sessions and in conjunction with conventional treatment with medicines. In case of physical trauma or injury, antibiotics and medicines for inflammation and pain relief are given while the dog is taking hydrotherapy sessions.
For administering hydrotherapy to dogs, the veterinarian will first identify the injured or affected body part and will recommend the number of sessions that will be needed for the dog’s specific needs – the severity of the injury and the intensity of the pain. Instructions will also be given to the pet owner in terms of what should be the approximate temperature of water that you could use – from cold to warm depending on, again, the severity of injury and intensity of pain. A typical hydrotherapy session would require running a slow stream of water over the affected area to ease off the pain – one could also use hot or cold compress especially if the water scares away your pooch, which may already be hydrophobic. Another way, in which your dog can derive all the benefits of hydrotherapy, is by soaking its affected body part in water at the temperature recommended by the doctor. What you would need to do is gently apply pressure on the affected body part while it is wet with water. If your dog feels intense pain, it may show objection to it in the beginning. However, you must be gentle and must move slowly, being careful not to hurt, but not giving in to your dog’s cries.
Benefits Of Hydrotherapy
There are several benefits of administering hydrotherapy on dogs. Here are a few of them:
- It relieves pain especially that caused by an injury, and also gives relief from stiffness of the body parts and swelling.
- It is an excellent way to strengthen muscles and keep them in working condition for a long time.
- Hydrotherapy is also often known to alleviate muscle spasms.
- It improves blood circulation to the affected body part and also increases the range of motion in joints. An improvement in the blood circulation itself acts as a catalyst for the recovery of damage caused to tissues during an injury.