What is Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is a technique that involves using a combination of water and massage to help reduce swelling and pain. It is similar to a human taking a warm soak in the tub followed by a massage or to a human cooling down the muscles with a cool spray and a followed by a rubdown.
Depending upon the type of injury, you may need to use either warm or cool water when performing hydrotherapy on your pet. After spraying the affected area or soaking it water, you then rub the affected limb while gently moving toward the trunk of the body. This way, you move any accumulated fluids up and away from the area that is injured. If your pet is not receptive to being sprayed or soaked with water, you may need to use a cool or warm compress instead. You can create a compress by simply taking a dishtowel and running it under cool or warm water and then placing it inside a plastic bag before applying it to the affected area.
What Can Hydrotherapy Treat?
Hydrotherapy can be used to help treat a variety of different conditions. Some of the conditions that are most commonly treated with hydrotherapy include:
• Leg, paw and joint pain
• Swelling from injury
• Swelling from insect bites
Hydrotherapy is able to help with these conditions primarily because it is able to increase the blood circulation in the area. For this reason, it can be effectively used to treat chronic conditions such as arthritis and joint disease. It can also be used to help alleviate the pain associated with a fracture or a dislocation. In addition to helping to relieve pain, hydrotherapy can also help increase your pet’s range of motion.
How Can I Use Hydrotherapy with My Pet?
One of the great things about hydrotherapy is that you can easily perform it at home and you do not necessarily need to work under the supervision of a veterinarian. In fact, all you need to do is simply put your pet in the sink or the bathtub and then spray him or her down the affected area with the spray attachment. As you spray down the area, give it a massage to further increase the effects. You may want to consult with your physician in order to be certain you are applying the right amount of pressure and that you are massaging the proper area. Thereafter, you can easily provide your pet with hydrotherapy at home.
In some cases, however, the injury is more severe and requires direct care from the veterinarian. In this case, the veterinarian may initiate treatment with medication in order to reduce inflammation and to take care of any infection that may have developed. Once the veterinarian has been able to properly assess the injury, he or she can then perform hydrotherapy and then instruct you on how to perform it on your pet at home.
CS Swarens is the president of Find a Pet Online. 800 998-7065 For additional information on dogs, cats, birds, horses, and exotic pets visit the internet’s pet resource including pet classifieds at http://www.findapetonline.com. Research over 430 pet breed profiles at http://www.findapetonline.com/breeds.html
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