Rehabilitation Facility

Underwater Treadmill Therapy

What is Underwater Treadmill Therapy?

With underwater treadmill (UWT) therapy, the dog walks on a treadmill belt, in water, at a controlled speed. The water provides buoyancy, which decreases weight bearing and stress on joints.

Walking on a treadmill belt pulls the dogs legs back further than they would go on land, and the added resistance of water makes the dog work harder to move forward.

We can alter the level of the water in order to improve the range of motion of specific joints.

The water is warm, making it very comfortable for arthritic joints and stiff muscles.

The UWT works to strengthen and reactivate muscles that have not been used properly due to injury/pain.

Pressure of the water over the surface of the legs causes sensory stimulation, which helps with the neural education to activate lazy muscles. This trains the body to start using those muscles in the UWT and they eventually start to use them correctly on land as well.

This is known as gait training and is a very important part of the rehabilitation process.

What to expect during a UWT session

  • The first session is usually a short one and is spent getting the dog used to the water and a moving treadmill.
  • Often dogs that are scared of swimming will adapt quickly to the UWT as their feet always touch the bottom.
  • Each dog adapts and progresses at a different pace and our sessions are tailored to each individual dog.

Number of sessions needed

Each dog has different needs, depending on the condition needing therapy, and each program is tailor made for the individual dog. Most dogs require at least 6 – 12 sessions, preferably 2 sessions per week for the first 2 – 3 weeks and then once weekly. Once they have built up to a 20 min continuous session, once weekly for about 6 weeks, we will reduce the frequency to once every 2 weeks or once a month, if appropriate.

The injury site will always be a weak spot and these maintenance treatments remind the body to use the muscles correctly.

View our Water Therapy video below:


Acupuncture for your pet

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the practise of inserting fine, solid needles into the body for pain relief or, in some cases, to help with other diseases.

How does acupuncture work?

It works through the nervous system. The needles block the pain messages and encourage the brain and central nervous system to produce more of the body’s natural painkillers. In conditions that are not painful, acupuncture may help to reset the body’s normal functioning.

Will it hurt my pet?

Acupuncture needles stimulate nerves that do not cause the unpleasant feelings of pain that we are trying to treat. They stimulate other nerves that send a more important message to the brain, which is how they block pain, but then relax because it does not occur. Most of the time they accept the fine needles very well and often become relaxed and sleepy during the treatment. Often they appear to look forward to the next treatment when they become back to the practice.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is very safe in the right hands. Legally it must be performed by a veterinary surgeon. There have been no official reports of problems in animals, but there are some in humans and these can usually be avoided with care and a good knowledge of anatomy. There are a very few cases in which we would have to be very cautious about using acupuncture, but your veterinary acupuncturist can advise you of these.

What kinds of conditions are treated with acupuncture?

Pain is the most common indication for acupuncture. Usually this means pain associated with arthritis, but also muscle strains, pain secondary to disc disease and bony changes of the spine. Other kinds of pain may also respond.

View our Acupuncture video below: