Cali uses hydrotherapy to help with her arthritisCali is a golden lab that is attending HydroPaws Hydrotherapy and Wellness Centre to help relieve the symptoms of Osteoarthritis. Because of the Osteoarthritis, Cali was experiencing loss of muscle mass and tone through the hind limb ataxia. A customized treatment program was developed for her after an initial gait and movement analysis, and careful consideration to her Veterinarians Report. Cali initially began swimming with a lifejacket that helped with buoyancy support the weakened hind legs. Within a couple of months Cali had regained much of the strength that she had lost. Her muscle mass, tone and range of motion also greatly increased.

Osteoarthritis affects the joints caused by degeneration of the joint cartilage and underlying bone. The symptoms include: stiffness, lameness, muscle atrophy and lessened range of motion. This condition can often be very painful and cause the dog to become lethargic and not want to exercise. Losing mobility will often cause depression.

The Customized Treatment Plan allows for regular, gentle exercise to maintain and regain muscle mass and mobility. Dogs are prone to weight gain when they cannot exercise as a result of pain and discomfort from the affected weight bearing joints. The more weight the dog gains, the more pressure is put upon the joints. With more pressure, comes more pain and discomfort.

Hydrotherapy has become one of the best treatments for Osteoarthritis as it allows non weight bearing exercise to build and maintain muscle mass to support the affected joints in a safe controlled environment. The temperature of the water also plays a part in the rehabilitation process. The warmth of the water reduces swelling and increases the blood supply to the surrounding soft tissue which in turn reduces stiffness and aids in range of motion.

Cali’s condition was very painful and hindered her active way of life which in turn made her very depressed. After undergoing her Customized Treatment Plan, Cali was able to do many of the activities that she had done before the arthritis.  Being able to do the things that she loved to do, completely removed any signs of depression. Now the only time Cali gets depressed is when she has to get out of the pool!