Orchard Vets' physiotherapy and hydrotherapy unit specialises in the rehabilitation of pets that have mobility problems
By joining one of our rehabilitation programmes, injured or surgical patients are able to recover more quickly, and the quality of life of pets with long-term mobility problems can be improved and extended. Each animal’s plan is tailored to the individual’s needs and fitness level.
Physiotherapy and hydrotherapy are not alternative treatments, but an important part of our strategy to return pets to normal as soon as possible and will usually be used alongside the other treatments provided by our veterinary surgeons.
What is physiotherapy used for?
Conditions that can benefit from a rehabilitation plan include:
- Stiffness and pain caused by osteoarthritis
- Inherited abnormalities such as hip dysplasia
- Neurological conditions or muscular weakness
- Post-operative recovery after joint surgery or fracture repair
- Overweight patients needing to reduce weight and increase fitness
- General weakness in elderly pets or following illness
Hydrotherapy can also be useful for maintaining fitness in active or working animals.
How does it work?
The conditions in pets that affect mobility cause pain and loss of function in the bones, joints and muscles. Untreated, the animal tries to cope by placing less weight on the affected parts. This causes muscles to shrink and become weak. The gait changes so that other parts of the body are used in an abnormal way, resulting in problems in those areas too. If the correct action is not taken the animal’s condition worsens. Physiotherapy helps to restore normal function by building up the strength of muscles, reducing pain and increasing the range of movement.
Manual physiotherapy is hands-on manipulation and massage of the affected parts. We will show you how to continue some of these actions at home to build on the beneficial effect.
Hydrotherapy is a safe, controlled and effective treatment for pets. Our underwater treadmill is hi-tech equipment, allowing pets to exercise whilst being supported by the buoyancy of the water. The depth of water and the speed of the treadmill are adjusted to suit the needs of the individual patient so, unlike swimming, this is the only form of hydrotherapy that correctly rehabilitates walking and trotting movements. The buoyancy of the water allows muscles to be exercised in greater comfort and the warmth of the water encourages muscles to relax and is soothing for the patient.
To find out more about how out Physiotherapy Unit can help your pet, give us a ring and our staff will be happy to advise.