Active Paws

Dog Hydrotherapy, Physiotherapy & Fitness Training - Sunshine Coast
Canine Hydrotherapy and Dog Physiotherapy Sunshine Coast

FAQ about Dog Physiotherapy and Canine Rehabilitation on the Sunshine Coast

Do you have a question about your dog’s physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, fitness or rehabilitation program? Try our Frequently Asked Questions below. Still, got questions? Get in contact with the friendly team at Active Paws Rehabilaition & Fitness.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many sessions will my dog need?

For rehabilitation clients, this will be 100% dependant upon the condition we are treating and how your pet responds to the treatment.  Once we assess your pet, we will be able to give you an approximate indication of the recovery timeframe and plan from the outset and will give you regular updates on how they are progressing.

For conservative management clients, it is likely that regular monthly, fortnightly or weekly sessions will be required as part of the on-going management plan.  Again, once we assess you pet, we will be able to formulate an individual plan to ensure that it meets the agreed management goals.

For weight management clients,  it is dependent upon their condition, the agreed goals and how they respond to the program.  Again, we will provide regular update and closely monitor the weight loss as part of the program.

 
Why use an under water treadmill? We have plenty of rivers and lakes on the Sunshine Coast

There are three main issues to consider – the first being the environment, the second being control and the third is expertise.  An underwater treadmill provides a completely safe and controllable environment for your pet whilst walking in a river/lake contains hidden dangers to their effective rehabilitation such as uneven footing, stones and trip hazards.  Control is another important factor with very limited control possible with river/lake walking in comparison to complete control of intensity, depth, speed, incline and many other factors in the underwater treadmill.  The third factor is that of expertise – our therapist’s are highly trained and used to working with dogs with complex rehabilitation needs and will tailor every specific session to ensure optimum recovery for your pet.

 
Do I need to have a referral from my vet to begin dog physiotherapy?

A vet referral ensures that your pet is in a suitable healthy condition to undertake hydrotherapy treatment and provides our team with information that greatly assists us in formulating the most effective rehabilitation plan.  Although a vet referral is our preferred pathway, we can also accept direct enquiries and conduct our own suitability assessment – should we have any concerns we would always refer back to your vet before commencing a treatment plan.

Should I take my dog swimming or use an under water treadmill?

Swimming can allow your pet to exercise without bearing any weight, and swimming can be an excellent way for overweight dogs to burn calories.  However, with swimming, there is a lack of control with regard to speed, intensity, or proper limb use.  Dogs primarily use their front limbs to swim and some dogs will even tuck their hind limbs in while swimming, so they may not exercise an injured limb at all.  If the dog does use all four limbs while swimming, they use a different pattern than a walking gait. This is very important for dogs who are learning how to walk again.

Advantages of Underwater Treadmill Use

  • Extension of the limbs/joints is more complete than with swimming
  • Specific muscle groups can be targeted
  • Control of how fast the patient moves
  • Control of how much weight the patient bears as they are moving (height of water)
  • The water in the treadmill is heated to around 30 degrees, this eases pain and stimulates circulation
  • More balanced treatment for patients with multiple issues (multiple joints, muscle atrophy, etc.)
  • Support for weak patients
  • Less intimidating than swimming for patients who are fearful of water (with the treadmill, water fills slowly from the bottom)
  • Gentle and low impact enough for post-surgical patients (in many cases 2 weeks post op with sutures removed)

Disadvantages of Swimming

  • Swimming benefits knee flexion but is not as effective for improving knee and hip extension
  • Not a good option for patients who are unfit (seniors/geriatrics, weak core/stamina, etc.)
  • No control of intensity or speed
  • More intimidating for patients who are fearful or do not like water.  In the treadmill the water level rises slowly so even animals who are fearful of water can get use to and enjoy the treadmill.
  • Minimal control of the patient’s movement.  A thrashing, panicking pet can be dangerous to post op recovery from orthopedic and neurological procedures.
  • The footing at the beach, river or lake is often irregular and can be slippery
  • Dogs do not generally use their hind limbs effectively when swimming (they use primarily forelimb movement).  This poor hind limb movement reduces the overall joint range of motion as well as the potential for muscle strengthening
 
Is the underwater treadmill only for rehabilitation patients?

Swimming can allow your pet to exercise without bearing any weight, and swimming can be an excellent way for overweight dogs to burn calories.  However, with swimming, there is a lack of control with regards to speed, intensity, or proper limb use.  Dogs primarily use their front limbs to swim and some dogs will even tuck their hind limbs in while swimming, so they may not exercise an injured limb at all.  If the dog does use all four limbs while swimming, they use a different pattern than a walking gait. This is very important for dogs who are learning how to walk again.

Advantages of Underwater Treadmill Use

  • Extension of the limbs/joints is more complete than with swimming
  • Specific muscle groups can be targeted
  • Control of how fast the patient moves
  • Control of how much weight the patient bears as they are moving (height of water)
  • The water in the treadmill is heated to around 30 degrees, this eases pain and stimulates circulation
  • More balanced treatment for patients with multiple issues (multiple joints, muscle atrophy, etc.)
  • Support for weak patients
  • Less intimidating than swimming for patients who are fearful of water (with the treadmill, water fills slowly from the bottom)
  • Gentle and low impact enough for post-surgical patients (in many cases 2 weeks post op with sutures removed)

Disadvantages of Swimming

  • Swimming benefits knee flexion but is not as effective for improving knee and hip extension
  • Not a good option for patients who are unfit (seniors/geriatrics, weak core/stamina, etc.)
  • No control of intensity or speed
  • More intimidating for patients who are fearful or do not like water.  In the treadmill the water level rises slowly so even animals who are fearful of water can get use to and enjoy the treadmill.
  • Minimal control of the patient’s movement.  A thrashing, panicking pet can be dangerous to post op recovery from orthopedic and neurological procedures.
  • The footing at the beach, river or lake is often irregular and can be slippery
  • Dogs do not generally use their hind limbs effectively when swimming (they use primarily forelimb movement).  This poor hind limb movement reduces overall joint range of motion as well as potential for muscle strengthening
 
What if my dog is nervous of water?

Don’t worry. We will take all the time it needs to ensure your dog is happy with its surroundings. The treadmill is very good for dogs that dislike water as we can introduce the water very slowly. Treats and toys are readily provided!  Most dogs that dislike water do tend to cope with the treadmill very well.

 
 

Our Canine Rehabilitation Services on the Sunshine Coast

Dog Hydrotherapy

Active Paws use the latest technology in canine hydrotherapy treadmills and rehabilitation pools to accelerate your dog's rehabilitation.

Canine Physiotherapy

Our highly trained and fully qualified team members provide individualised rehabilitation programs for your dog using the latest technology.

Pool Fitness & Rehab for Dogs

Using our canine swimming pool, our hydrotherapists and physiotherapists deliver the best return to function program for your dog.

'Fit for Life' Training Centre

Get your dog in shape safely and effectively through our canine fitness program designed and monitored by a canine sports specialist.

Rehabilitation Services for Vets

We are a fully independent, highly trained, specialist hydrotherapy rehabilitation service. We are seeking to work with Vet practices.