Saturday, 14 May 2011

Hydrotherapy for Dogs

Leo went swimming yesterday! Many dogs nowadays suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia as a direct result of poor breeding. Breeding from dogs who have badly formed hip joints passes down this fault to its offspring. Many reputable breeders have their breeding dogs x-rayed and their hips are examined for health and given a 'hip-score'. Good healthy hip and elbow joints are well formed and have little excess movement beyond normal motion. Over the years of a dog's life, arthritis can cause stiffness and pain in older age.
Leo is 11 years old and has hip and elbow dysplasia and arthritis. Exercise in water can strengthen and build muscle around the joints which can help support and protect them.

After a quick Google search for canine hydrotherapy in my area I found a wonderful centre just a couple of miles away. Qualified canine physiotherapist shown here, helped him around the pool for the first couple of minutes, then when he had got used to the idea she threw a tennis ball over the other side of the pool and he was off on his own like a torpedo!!

Walking on dry land can be quite painful with arthritis and he can only manage a 10 minute walk before pain slows him down. Swimming is brilliant for this type of health problem in older dogs, he can maintain good mobility and stamina. We look forward to many more sessions.


  1. Isn't it amazing how far therapy for pups has come?


  2. Looking back to last year I feel like I missed an opportunity with Harry to increase his muscle strength through hydrotherapy. I asked the vet whether it was worth trying hydrotherapy and received a curt no... although no explanation was given as to why not. Feeling a bit stupid and taken back I didn't pursue it any further. It looked a comfortable and fun experience for Leo too

  3. My dog, a labrador has a hip problem too and as he's growing older, it's not helping him.

  4. I love your blog. I have a blog about mongrels, and I would like to mention your blog if that is ok :-)

  5. Looks like that dog was born to be a swimmer. Most of my dogs are a bit too small to be water dogs, I'm afraid they might hurt themselves. I usually carry them around in dog carriers. They enjoy being pampered.