Under Water Treadmill:
Walking Your Canine Pal to Wellness
The Underwater Treadmill (UWTM) is an exciting hydrotherapy modality available at Fitter Critters! Our unique AquaPaws® hydrotherapy programs, that utilize the properties of water in either the therapeutic swimming pool or the underwater treadmill, assist your dog to a speedy recovery. Our state-of-the-art underwater treadmill has extended length allowing for proper gait and freedom of movement for even the largest dogs. Programs are customized for your dog by a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist.
The underwater treadmill shares some of the many advantages of swimming in our heated therapeutic pool:
• Increased muscle strength, size and tone
• Reduced limb edema
• Reduced stress to joints and bones
• Improved joint flexibility
• Increased fitness
• Improved Gait Sequence and Stride Length
The UWTM can be used for post surgical procedures, arthritis, spinal problems, senior conditioning, weight loss, performance conditioning, increased exercise tolerance , improved flexibilty, recovery from traumatic accidents and sports injuries.
Advantages of the Underwater Treadmill
WEIGHT LOSS The UWTM is used as part of our Commit to Be Fit program and Rehabilitation Program to normalize weight in over-weight dogs.
EARLIER USE OF HYDROTHERAPY In some cases, i.e. neck surgery and some types of knee surgery, we can begin hydrotherapy earlier than with swimming. in the pool
NON-SWIMMERS Dogs who do not like to swim, can be happily introduced to water by water-walking in graduated depths, similar to wading. Once comfortable, swimming may be added if appropriate.
FASTER BONE HEALING Following a Fracture or some types of knee surgery (TPLO or TTA), the injured bone will heal faster when walking in water than if non-weight bearing or when there are walking restrictions on land.
NON-WEIGHT BEARING Dogs who are not bearing weight on a limb are likely to use the limb more fully when walking in water than on land.
COORDINATION AND GAIT SEQUENCING PROBLEMS Gait training for dogs with coordination/sequencing issues are worked on by a therapist in the UWTM to allow a faster return to normal walking.
COAT ISSUES Some owners of thick coated dogs or Show Dog owners are concerned with tangled coats from swimming. These dogs can be less ‘submerged’ in the UWTM
PROPRIOCEPTION (knowing where a limb is in time and space) Our treadmill can run backward or forward. Changes in direction increase proprioception. Specific water-based exercises are offered that speed return of proprioception.
CROSS TRAINING for Performance and Service dogs - Water walking and swimming use different muscles in different ways. For best results, dogs will use the pool AND the UWTM to obtain the added advantages of both.