Hydrotherapy can be used in the treatment of osteoarthritis, orthopaedic conditions, neurological conditions, muscle, ligament and other soft tissue injuries. It can also help with general convalescence and fitness. Extensive work in human physiotherapy has demonstrated that a suitably monitored course of hydrotherapy acts by encouraging a full range of joint motion in reduced weight bearing conditions, thus improving muscle tone and promoting tissue repair, without imposing undue stress on damaged tissues. Swimming helps to improve general fitness, cardiovascular stamina, muscle tone and is also helpful in aiding recovery from injury or surgery and improves fitness, especially in the management of obesity. Muscle wastage begins within 3 days of anyimmobilisation so to prevent further weakness or injury it is important to rebuild, through safe exercise, any muscles that have deteriorated. It is better to swim dogs in heated water since cold water causes constriction of the blood vessels near the skin and to the superficial muscles (those just under the skin) which restricts the flow of blood making the muscles less efficient. Hydrotherapy is also considered to be a natural anti-inflammatory through its ability to reduce tissue swelling. Hydrotherapy is used in the form of swimming and aquatic treadmill therapy. Composed by The Canine Hydrotherapy Association
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