Underwater Treadmill (UWTM)
At Haven Lake Animal Hospital our Underwater Treadmill (UWTM) is one of our most important rehabilitation modalities. The UWTM provides a lower gravity weight bearing environment, water resistance, increased proprioception (sensation), and increase joint range of motion. A patient may respond to any or all of these benefits resulting in increased strength and quicker return to limb function.
When a dog walks, they tend to hold their legs straight with most of their joints in extension. Conversely when a dog swims, they tend to pull their legs into a classic “dog paddle.” This results in their limbs being in flexion. The UWTM encourages a full range of joint motion from extension to flexion. A patient will pick their feet up much higher as they pull them through the water while the treadmill belt will pull a limb into greater extension as it travels under the dog. The video provided on this page demonstrates these principals. All of this increased limb use, range of motion, and supported weight bearing will result in faster return to function.
Finally, sedentary or out of shape dogs can benefit from UWTM. Many of our canine clients are not orthopedic or neurological cases. They are just older or overweight pets that need some help getting their fitness level back. The UWTM provides an excellent low impact cardiovascular work out. With one or two sessions a week, your pet could shed some pounds or get their youthful energy back.
At Haven Lake Animal Hospital we offer packages for both rehabilitation and conditioning (our gym package). Please give us a call and a member of our rehab team can discuss our programs further.