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Thread: Testimonials on Hydrotherapy please

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Logan, Brisbane QLD
    Posts
    806

    Default Testimonials on Hydrotherapy please

    So far Molly is fluctuating between 14.5 & 14kg's weight wise.

    Ideally she needs to get down to 13-12.5kg's and we are having a little trouble getting her there. I'm interested in getting her into hydrotherapy to change up her physical activity some more as i don't think walks alone are enough. I'm just too scared to get her alongside the bike with Rex because i think she still might be too heavy and could do some joint harm.

    I've never witnessed what goes on with hydrotherapy or what it entails (i'm guessing it's just a dog in a pool with a life jacket swimming around?) and was wondering if any members could share their stories/opinions of what it was like, and what they do exactly.

    Would also like to know of any fantastic places here in Logan or the greater South Brisbane (I don't mind travelling an hour or so away) that anybody could suggest - I've done a quick google search of places here in the area, but somebody might know of something different!

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    Kuri,

    Have a look at the video on our web site at Canine Fitness Centre

    We are one of very few centres that have an underwater treadmill. I believe there is one at Greenslopes and one at Narang.

    Those places without an underwater treadmill will just be using swimming as therapy but may include some massage as well.

    Swimming is one of the best exercises you can have your dog do because it does work just about every muscle in their body.

    If you cannot get to one of these centres then swimming her at home in the pool, down at the beach, or in the Logan River will work just as well. You just need to get yourself knee deep, get the dog in the water and hold the tail. She will swim. It is reckoned that a 10 minute swim is equal to a 5 kilometer walk.

    Of course I do not need to say anything about reducing her food intake - but I will. When our dogs have not had enough exercise and put on a bit of padding, we cut their kibble ration and substitute cooked pumpkin or butternut so they get the same volume with less real stuff, and then swim some.

    On the bike thing, a kilo or two will not compromise her if you run her with the bike. Just build up the distance slowly so she becomes accustomed and conditioned to it.

    A couple years back, we had a BC that we "allowed" to get overweight. We went away for two weeks to a farm stay place where we could take the dog. They had a large sloping paddock running down into a river, For two weeks, several times a day we would send her running from me at the top of the slope to my wife at the bottom and then swim out to my son in a canoe and back to me again. She lost 4 kilos in those 2 weeks.
    Nev Allen
    Border River Pet Resort

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Logan, Brisbane QLD
    Posts
    806

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    Nev,

    I did come across the Canine Fitness Center Website which was at the top of my list. Thank you for clearing up the difference between the treadmill & the hydro pool. The location is an hours drive from me, which is fine but just means i might not be able to get there as often (how often should i be going a week?)

    I also came across this site thelinks.net.au :: Canine Aquatic Centre for dogs in Brisbane, Queensland who also assist in weightloss for dogs. But they don't have that all important underwater treadmill which i'm convinced, is the better way to go.

    Her food had been scrutinized by myself since we found out she was overweight (3 months ago). Her daily intake is 270g's (2% of 13.5kg). She gets fed once a day (mornings only) on a raw diet (this week is Kangaroo mince with mashed carrots & peas) and there is always leftovers as she doesn't eat it all so with her diet alone she SHOULD be dropping the weight.

    Physical activity consists of a 30-40min walk in the morning, and a 60min walk & off-leash play in the evening. I have read that walking alone isn't enough which is why i am considering hydrotherapy. I do a short 5min run with her in the afternoon also, which she has difficulty with therefore i refuse to put her on the bike next to Rex.

  4. #4

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    Kuri, I have used hydrotherapy but not for weightloss, it was for Keira who has bad hips and knees so it was rehabilitative therapy for her and to help build muscle in her hind legs as they have muscle wastage from her not using them. I found it wonderful, she improved immensely and I try to keep her swimming as much as possible. Swimming is great exercise, 5 minutes of swimming is equivalent to around 30 minutes of walking exercise wise but is low to no impact.

    Personally I think your better off doing normal swimming rather then an underwater treadmill.

    I previously went here:
    Canine Cubby
    I only stopped as I had access to a swimming pool at my neighbours place which was free.
    Donna who owns an runs it is a bit kooky but a nice enough lady. She usually gets in with the dogs but you can if you want to, I always got in with Keira and I was able to turn it around from an unpleasant experience for her (she wasn't real keen on swimming) to a fun one, she loves swimming now and will dive into pools.

    I have also seen the facilities at the Link Resort and they were very nice, clean, really large pool, good environment and the staff seem friendly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Logan, Brisbane QLD
    Posts
    806

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    Thanks K&P - canine cubby is much closer to me & i will definitely be getting in the pool with her as she will be terrified with a stranger. Shes also not a keen pool swimmer as our old home had a pool and she wasn't a fan but i'm hoping in a controlled environment with professionals may help. I will get in contact with some places tomorrow and see how we go

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,602

    Default

    One of our local vets has a hydrotherapy pool where dogs swim and an underwater treadmill.

    I used a swimming pool for rehab and muscle building exercises - without putting pressure on the joints. The good thing about walking against water is all the resistance it provides. I think a dog would probably get that swimming but a human - not so much because we swim very differently to how we walk.

    One of the human exercises that was very good for me, was 2 or 3 minutes of doing leg action like pedalling a bicycle in the deep end - with fins on - for extra resistance not push ie you kept your toes pointed up...

    I also did lots of monty python style silly walks up and down the shallow end from waist to chest deep - for building balance and strength, and running up and down (started as walking) to build strength and fitness.

    I think treadmill vs hydro would be much of a muchness for a dog - it would depend on what you were trying to fix.

    Both good for weight loss - as along as the food intake does not go up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Southern NSW
    Posts
    3,785

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    I have just rehabbed Katy from a cruciate repair using water therapy...I went to a Dog Physio and because katy did not fit in the hydrotherapy tank, she recommended walking her alongside the waters edge at our lake, Dam and river. She stated it was of equal value (much cheaper).........Katy has come up trumps, has really good muscle tone and well she just loves water. we are now swimming again, which we were not initially allowed to do with the Crucuiate repair. Swimming keeps my dogs lean....They love it though, which does help. We use natural water places. Lake Hume and Lake Mulwala mostly, also the river
    Pets are forever

  8. #8

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    Kuri,

    Underwater treadmills are more suited to muscle development and is more commonly used where a dog has had cruciate or hip displasia ops as well as shaping for show dogs and building/ developing muscles in greyhounds and such.

    Straight swimming is better for overall fitness and weight control.

    I think your dog is training you to stop after 5 minutes of jogging and, unless there is an underlying medical issue, I would extend time and distance. What does she do to tell you she has done enough?
    Nev Allen
    Border River Pet Resort

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Logan, Brisbane QLD
    Posts
    806

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    Lol nev your probably right with the "training" me to stop (thyre good at that!) When shes had enough i kinda endup dragging her cause she slows right down. I think im just paranoid that i might be causing her damage. I even notice lately she is having a hard time jumping on the bed.

    Newf - we have a creek down by my house that i like to take the pooches down to on bath days. We head down early in the morning because rex likes to chase the dragonflys etc on the waters edge. They both like to swim in creeks & the beach. I should probably take them more often then by the sounds of it!

  10. #10

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    Kuri - With Keira I made sure I took treats and a ball, so I always made it fun by giving her food whilst she was swimming and turning it into a game. I tended to make a lot of happy noise haha but Donna never minded, and she didn't mind the water that splashed all over the place once Keira started loving it and would dive into the pool haha.

    Kuri, if you believe in it (I know some people dont) there is a FANTASTIC chiropractic vet at Ormeau. They are 100% worth the visit. They are not just chiro's they actually have their Vet degrees, as well as a Masters in Chiropratic and they are NOT back crackers, they actually use muscle manipulation to do readjustments etc. They don't rush you in and out like some Vets. They are really good if you have a dog with joint issues and for just general chiro work.
    I take both my dogs there and have never had a cause for concern.
    When Phi hurt her neck last year the e-vet cost me $1000 and told me it was panostitis (a joint thing in young dogs that goes away) but it didn't seem right to me so I took her to AO and they had her their twice for a total I think of $250/300 bucks (2 hrs work + meds) diagnosed with a strained neck and she was back to normal.
    I took Keira last week as her right hip/back was playing up and she was in a lot of pain and I was there for an hour, had chiro, acupuncture and went home with a bottle of anti inflams for $140, we are back tomorrow to check her progress.
    If she is having trouble jumping up on the bed (when previously she didn't) and she has had extra weight on it is quite possible for that to have caused her to put her herself out or cause joint damage and personally I would feel the same as you (ie: not taking her on big walks/runs).
    If you are interested it is
    http://www.animaloptions.com.au/
    And you would want to see Rowan or Jenny they are the chiro vets. Be prepared a week day appointment can take anywhere from 1 - 2 weeks to get in and a weekend will usually take at least 2 - 4 weeks.

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