When we talk about water treadmills here at Leesville Animal Hospital Veterinarian in North Raleigh, we are talking about hydrotherapy. As a Raleigh vet clinic with hydrotherapy services, we believe that it’s important that you don’t have any unanswered questions before bringing your dog in for canine hydrotherapy services. So, let’s get right to those questions!
Water Treadmills: Answering Your Dog Hydrotherapy Questions
Q: Why Can’t I Just Do My Own Water Therapy in the Pool?
A: Swimming is certainly a beneficial form of exercise, but it’s a much different practice than hydrotherapy. When your dog goes swimming, they have full freedom of motion, they are submerged in water up to their neck, the water is tepid, and there is no veterinarian supervision.
When your dog does hydrotherapy, their movement is restricted within the smaller space of the hydrotherapy tank. This helps to control movement so that your dog gets the benefit of exercise and therapy with much less risk of aggravating injuries or of your dog “overdoing it”. In the hydrotherapy tank, the level and temperature of the water are also strictly controlled and curated specifically to meet your dog’s health needs. Warmer water helps to relieve pain and improve blood flow to injured areas while the level of water is adjusted to ensure that targeted areas are soothed and supported. Lastly, having veterinarian and hydrotherapist supervision of your dog’s hydrotherapy ensures that they make progress and experience relief from their therapy. This is particularly important for dogs who are doing hydrotherapy as a means of building strength in injured limbs because it allows for small adjustments to be made in your dog’s therapy so that their endurance and stamina can improve.
Q: Is Hydrotherapy Safe?
A: When hydrotherapy is done under the supervision of a trained hydrotherapist and veterinarian, it is both safe and beneficial. Hydrotherapy should never be done without this supervision, however, because it requires an understanding of canine anatomy, the mechanics of hydrotherapy, and experience with hydrotherapy to ensure that therapy is only beneficial and not harmful in any way.
Q: Can My Small Dog Do Hydrotherapy?
A: Many small dog owners worry about their dog drowning during hydrotherapy because they only ever see a hydrotherapy tank filled with water. Of course, whether hydrotherapy is the right choice for your dog is something that you and your veterinarian need to talk about, but just because your dog is a smaller breed doesn’t rule out hydrotherapy! We’ve seen hydrotherapy succeed for Great Danes and dachshunds alike!
When your dog comes in for hydrotherapy, the back of the tank pulls down to create a ramp, your dog walks up that ramp and then the back of the tank is pulled up and locked in place. The hydrotherapist then uses your veterinarian’s recommendations to fill the hydrotherapy tank. This means that the level of water in the tank is customized to your dog’s needs and you don’t have to worry about your dog drowning!!
Q: I’ve Heard/Read That Hydrotherapy…
A: We all want to know more information about anything before we decide to invest our effort and money into that thing. Hydrotherapy is no different. While we applaud all pet parents who take the initiative to educate themselves when it comes to their pet’s care, it’s important to know that the advice that you receive from YOUR vet is catered to YOUR pet and based on your veterinarian’s experience and formal education. Much of what you read online is opinion versus fact, is often written by those without veterinary training and experience, and is based on recommendations made for pets other than your own.
It’s also important to know that hydrotherapy is a practice that has long been used as a safe form of physical therapy for horses and it is a therapy that is advocated by the American Veterinary Medical Association for dogs too!
Q: Does My Dog’s Pet Insurance Cover Hydrotherapy?
A: The answer to this question depends on a number of factors. Firstly, whether your dog’s insurance covers hydrotherapy will depend on the pet insurance company that you use. Secondly, the insurance company will also want to know why your dog is going through hydrotherapy. For example, Embrace pet insurance will cover alternative therapies like hydrotherapy for 12 weeks following any covered injury or illness when that therapy is conducted by a licensed veterinarian.
Q: Can I Afford Hydrotherapy For My Dog?
A: Like any medical procedure or therapy, hydrotherapy does come at a cost, but there are a few things to consider when it comes to that cost. Firstly, at Leesville Animal Hospital, we offer discounted packages on hydrotherapy sessions. This allows you to save money when you purchase more than one session at a time and it makes it easier to come in and out of the clinic when your dog has a session scheduled because you don’t have to go through purchasing sessions each time you visit. You should also consider that more and more pet insurance companies are covering alternative therapies like hydrotherapy, so you may be reimbursed for a portion of your expense. Lastly, it’s important to consider the physical and mental benefits of hydrotherapy for your dog.
Are You Looking For Water Treadmill / Hydrotherapy in Raleigh?
If you’re looking for hydrotherapy services for your dog in Raleigh, we invite you to come and visit us here at Leesville Animal Hospital! You’ll find us at 9309 Leesville Rd., Raleigh, NC 27613, but if you get lost along the way just give us a call at (919)870-7000 and we’ll help you to find your way!