Hydrotherapy for Dogs

Hydrotherapy can be a useful tool for dogs. Read on to know more about this procedure and the numerous benefits of the treatment...
DogAppy Staff
Hydrotherapy is described as the external use of water for therapeutic purposes. The purpose of using water is either to generate pressure, or to act as a medium of applying mechanical energy to the tissues of the body. Hydrotherapy is popular by some of its synonyms, like hydrotherapeutics or hydropathy. It finds use in the treatment of a number of illnesses in humans. Veterinarians recommend the use of the procedure in curing pain and injuries in dogs as well.
Introduction
The purpose of hydrotherapy is to reduce pain from the affected parts of the dog's body. It also tends to increase blood circulation. It can be used for both acute and chronic medical conditions. The common places in the dogs' body where hydropathy is used are its legs, paws, and joints. It is especially effective in reducing the discomfort from a bee sting, spider bite, or snakebite. Generally, the procedure is given in sessions, and in conjunction with conventional 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.
Procedure
The veterinarian will first identify the injured body part. He will ask you to perform hydrotherapy a certain number of times, which he decides according to the severity of injury and intensity of pain. The veterinarian will also tell you about the temperature of water to be used. It can either be cold or warm, which also depends upon the severity and type of injury. In a typical session, a stream of water is run gently over the affected part of the dog's body. In case your dog gets frightened by running water, you may use a cold or hot compress instead. You are supposed to apply gentle pressure on the injured body part while it is wet. If the pain is intense, your dog may show objection to it in the beginning. Move slowly and gently. Try your level best not to hurt your pet. If there is a lot of pain, and the dog is reluctant to tolerate the application of pressure, then only make it soak the affected body part in a bucket filled with water. There are special hydrotherapy pools for dogs as well. Search for one in your city, and take your dog there. This will also help a lot in relieving pain, swelling, and other discomfort.
Benefits
The benefits of hydrotherapy in dogs are numerous. It relieves pain, stiffness and swelling. Secondly, it strengthens the muscles and keeps them in a good condition for the long run. It also alleviates muscle spasms. Regular sessions lead to an increased range of motions in joints. Finally, it increases the circulation of blood through the dog's body. Improved blood flow itself treats numerous minor disorders, and speeds up the process of recovery from tissue damage and injury.
Thus, you see how beneficial hydrotherapy can be in taking care of your dog. To add to this, giving a healthy diet and sufficient time for relaxation will help your dog recover faster from any sort of illness. Give all these things a shot to give a better and healthy life to your canine friend.