Take Me to the Water...
09 Feb 2018
Have you heard great things about UWT and our (hopefully soon to open) resistance pool? The strength and conditioning aspects, the mental stimulation, cardiovascular benefits... these are a few of the great things hydrotherapy can offer your dog. Whether you are interested in exercising during the winter months, training for a competition or are recovering from surgery or an injury, hydrotherapy can have many benefits.
In some cases, an owner may call The Canine Fitness Centre interested in the hydrotherapy. Maybe you’ve never been here before and want to try it for conditioning or it’s been awhile and you want to get your dog back in shape. If that’s the case, there are a few things to consider for the safety of your dog.
If you are a new client, haven’t been here for more than 6 months, or have never seen one of our therapists, we require an exercise clearance from your vet. This would apply to owners with a pet that has no apparent issues, a sporting dog, or an overweight but otherwise healthy dog. This helps us ensure water therapy will be safe and effective for your dog.
If you have seen your vet within the last 6 months, we will send them a form for exercise clearance that they must fax back to us before your dog’s appointment. If you have not seen your vet for more than 6 months, we require your dog to either check in with your vet or see one of our therapists. If there is an underlying issue or injury, exercise may exacerbate the problem.
If you have a senior companion (over 7 years), a dog with known arthritic joint issues, lameness, appears sore or stiff, is 6 weeks post-op (incision is healed with no complications), or has neurological issues but is independently ambulating, we strongly recommend you book in with one of our therapists for a consultation first. Our physiotherapy consultation includes a thorough whole body examination. We will treat any joint, spinal or muscular issues, come up with a treatment plan, incorporate specific exercises and communicate with your vet. Hydrotherapy may be part of our treatment plan and future hydrotherapy sessions may include laser therapy as well.
If hydrotherapy is still all you desire in these cases, we will require clearance from your vet to ensure it is safe for your dog to engage in an exercise program. The above information applies regarding an exercise clearance form to be faxed to your vet and the requirement of a recent vet visit with the last 6 months.
That said, there are a few cases where there is simply too much at stake for your dog to jump into hydrotherapy without the proper intervention first. These may be cases such as an acute injury, you have a dog recently post operative (less than 6 weeks), a post operative dog over 6 weeks but presenting with complications, new neurological issues, or a chronic neurological issue needing ambulatory support (slings, harness, wheelchair). Because we are dealing with an evident issue, we would require one of our therapists to perform an initial assessment and be in charge of managing your dog’s case.
While hydrotherapy can be beneficial for many reasons, any exercise may exacerbate an underlying issue if left unaddressed. We want to create the best environment for your dog to thrive, heal, recover and have fun in a safe and supervised setting.