I took my herding dog Hope to Mountainside Veterinary Rehabilitation to see Dr. Carlson as she had injured a muscle in her upper right front leg as well as her toe. Through rehabilitation involving acupuncture, chiropractic and massage as well as exercises to assist the muscle in healing, Hope is back competing. Dr. Carlson provided excellent care as well as taught me how to continue to support Hope as a working dog.
The underwater treadmill (UWT) main use is to increase muscle strength while decreasing the concussive force at joints. We can use the variable levels of water to change the amount of weight bearing, the resistance and the compression benefits of the water, it encourages passive hip extension, exaggerates the step height, increases general strength and allows us to focus on hind limbs and will help with proprioceptive/body awareness training. This varies from swimming in that swimming doesn’t allow weight bearing, requires increased elbow ROM (range of motion), requires increased carpal flexibility and stifle flexibility and it primarily builds front limb strength. The underwater treadmill can be used to decrease neuropathic pain, increase analgesia, increase circulation, increase elasticity of soft tissues, increase flexion/range of motion, treating orthopedic disease/dysfunction, weight loss, respiratory/cardiovascular health, increase strength and can help edema.