How does hydrotherapy work?
The hydrotherapy pool allows the animal to exercise in a non-weight bearing environment which relieves pressure on joints, reducing pain and encouraging movement. In the underwater treadmill the water height can be adjusted to precisely control the amount of weight bearing allowing increases as the animal strengthens or recovers.
We do not have a treadmill at TPG Hydro but we do know where there are a couple that you could try. Check with your vet as to what whether a treadmill would be better than a pool for your pets specific treatment.
It is difficult to move quickly within water (because of the viscosity or 'stickiness' of water) so the water has a cushioning or protective quality reducing the risk of injury. This same quality means that the dog has to work hard to move forward when swimming and in turn this helps to increase muscle strength and bulk. This is a very useful property for young dogs that are on restricted exercise, as they can exercise hard in the water with little risk and use up some of their excess energy.
Within water animals are also subject to hydrostatic pressure and this has the effect of a gentle pressure bandage on limbs. This can help to reduce swelling and then pain especially in the lower limbs - very useful for dogs with elbow, stifle, carpal and tarsal injuries or arthritis.