At K9 Rehab Wellness Centre we often see clients for their post-surgery after care. One very common surgery is the ACL surgery. But not every dog is a candidate for orthopedic surgery! Other health concerns, old age or financial reasons can be reasons to look into other options to support your dogs optimal rehabilitation.
Whether you decide for a surgery or conservative management low- weight bearing exercises, our warm-water pool with knowledgeable staff provides everything you need to improve your pup’s rehabilitation process.
Effects of Hydrotherapy are (but not limited to): a sped up healing process, increased range of motion in joints and fascia, better blood circulation and a balanced muscle tone. – And there is more!
Help your dog recover – email us at email@example.com for more information
You might have heard your Veterinarian talking about muscle atrophy. That describes the wasting away of muscle mass when they are not properly being engaged. Important factors impacting the muscle atrophy are not only the exercise your pup receives but, furthermore, the nutrients your dog takes in, medications, his/her age as well as other diseases, injury or pain.
How is muscle atrophy being diagnosed? Whilst muscle atrophy is merely a symptom you want to check for the cause with your Veterinarian. Your Vet can conduct tests to diagnose what causes your dog to lose muscle mass. More symptoms coming along with muscle atrophy may be shaking muscles, weak legs (mostly manifesting in the rear), dragging of the paws, visibly sunken muscles or leg crossing when walking or standing.
How can you treat muscle atrophy? This will depend on your Vet’s diagnosis. But generally speaking you should try to engage your dog’s muscles appropriately, for example with physical therapy or hydrotherapy. Dietary changes could be an option as well.
Why do we recommend Hydrotherapy as exercise for general muscle atrophy? Hydrotherapy utilizes all benefits of the water like its buoyancy, resistance, temperature and pressure to exercise in a controlled environment. Appropriate weight bearing and additional exercises are customizable for every client’s needs. That makes Hydrotherapy a FUN way to help your dog feel his/ her best!
Muscle Balance Why is it Important?
Having a fit and healthy dog is important, in the long run will not only save you money but most importantly, give your dog the best quality of life.
Your dog’s exercise, whether it be fun and playful or more structured, should be diversified and hits their muscles in a balanced manner. While, having a fit dog is important, unbalanced muscle tone in any dog can lead to injury. Engaging your dog in specific exercises working both sides of the body and including both core and surface muscles are key to a proper workout. Releasing high-tone tense muscle and working low tone muscles can significantly help balance you dog.
For example, many dogs tend to inadvertently load their body weight onto their front legs more than their hind legs during
activity or if they have an injury, thus the front of the torso and limbs can become stronger than their hind end. This can lead to relative weakness in the hind end of the dog, leading to a higher risk of injury.
Client Izzy is a great example of what swimming can do for well defined, balanced muscles. Photo Credit: CTV Archives
Swimming in a warm water therapy pool is a great way to balance muscle tone as well as build any low tone muscles. A trained hydrotherapist uses techniques to build specific muscles and increase the range of motion in your dog’s joints. With the use of therapeutic techniques and activities in the warm water, specific muscle groups, mainly those protecting key joints such as the hips and stifle (knees), can be targeted to strengthen the dog and increase their mobility and range of motion.
Warm water therapy allows for dogs to have fun and build confidence in the water. This activity also gives relief from aches and pains, while achieving a relaxed, balanced body. Weekly therapy in the pool is a great way to maintain muscles, and stay in shape -just like the gym or cross training, long term commitment is the goal.
Being fit, healthy and balanced is the key to your dog having a great quality of life.
Our friends at Phoenix Rising Integrative Veterinary Care are happy to announce that they are ready to host their Open House here at K9 Rehab Wellness Centre this Sunday January 28 from 12pm – 2pm
You will have the opportunity to meet with Dr Radica Raj and Marieke who is now on the staff at Phoenix Rising. Marieke is a veterinary technician from Holland and is a firm believer in integrative medicine.
The simple answer is yes, there is a huge difference between an indoor pool and an outdoor pool when it comes to canine hydrotherapy. The biggest differential point- providing a controlled environment.
An Indoor Pool Provides Consistent Warmth,
In and Out of the Water
A benefit of warm water therapy is the ability to quickly warm up the muscles. Warm muscles mean an increase in range of motion in the joints to effectively build muscle and improve the condition of your dog. Having your dog exit the water into cold temperatures causes the muscles to tighten back up causing the therapy to stop, essentially wasting the progress made in the warmth of the water.
Our heated pool deck gives warmth to our clients as they are being dried off after their swim to keep their muscles warm, allowing the therapy to continue. This also provides a comfortable environment to the parents who are watching their pooch swim. Dogs requiring further warmth are suited in our retailed chilly dog bath robes or are blow dried in our commercial drying station located near the pool entrance.
A Safe, Quiet Environment
Our indoor pool is free of interruption from noises. This is very important if your dog is anxious or has reactivity and can easily be alarmed. It is important for your dog to experience the therapy aspect in canine hydrotherapy. Having an environment free from interruptions whether it be from noise, humans, or other dogs, gives the ultimate therapeutic experience. In order for a dog to completely relax they need to know that they are in a safe environment.
What better way to relax than to feel like the pool belongs to you?
At K9 Rehab, we take everything into consideration to give you and your pet the ultimate spa experience, right down to the lighting. It is important to have good lighting during a hydrotherapy session as the therapist needs to accurately observe your dog in the pool without obstruction. Great lighting means our hydro-therapists can note the slightest abnormality, therefore adjusting accordingly to achieve proper swim style to build muscle back into correct formation.
Indoor hydrotherapy pools provide consistent warmth both in and out of the pool. The environment is controlled to be free of distractions, noise, and other dogs. An indoor pool provides the space for dogs and owners to feel relaxation, solitude, and safety.
At K9 Rehab we strive to provide a comfortable, professional hydrotherapy experience.
Don’t let your dog’s collar be a pain in their neck.
We’ve all seen it. Most of us have probably done it too. The dog is pulling forward and we’re pulling backwards trying to get them to stop. Sometimes we give a quick yank on their leash to try and correct their behavior, then we hear that sound- a sharp cough from the pressure of the collar pulling back on their throat.
Now imagine this. You’re in a good ol’fashion game of tug-o-war. Your opponent has their rope secured to a harness strapped to their upper body, while your rope is attached to a collar around your neck. How long do you think you would be able to tolerate the pressure around your neck, or worse, endure pain? Our neck is fragile and vulnerable to damage, just like our dog’s.
The Neck is a VITAL part of a dog’s anatomy. The neck houses:
vertebrae of spine
veins & arteries
nerves that carry signals throughout the body
Collar Pulling Risks:
issues with sight
damage to trachea & thyroid
induce respiratory issues
Prevention Methods for Neck Injury:
use a well fitted harness, like the freedom-no-pull harness.
help train your dog to walk loosely on leash. This comes down to basic training. Talk to your dog trainer about how to loose-leash walk with your dog.
gently massage your dog’s neck to alleviate any discomfort they may have.
Seek a professional: book an appointment with a canine chiropractor or animal massage therapist.
provide your furry friend a pillow or cushion to help support their neck while they are sleeping.
Opting to use a well-fitted harness instead of a collar to walk your dog is a simple preventative method to save your dog from injury. We are fortunate to have a variety of harnesses out there now, it will be easy to find one to fit any dog’s needs.