(612) 618-0218
7131 Cahill Avenue
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
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Exceptional Veterinary Rehabilitation Care for Pets

Hydro-Treadmill: How Water Aids Rehabilitation


Hydrotherapy utilizes the buoyancy, resistance, and hydrostatic properties of water to promote an increased range of motion of joints, strength, and endurance in a regulated environment.

The water's buoyancy allows for gentler active exercises by decreasing the demands placed on injured tissues compared to land exercises. Excellent for pets that might otherwise find movement difficult or painful, walking in water is a very effective tool for conditioning. Motion in water builds muscle mass, stimulates cardiorespiratory endurance, and improves strength, range of motion, and agility, while minimizing pain. Hydrotherapy is also an excellent method for exercise, particularly when weight loss is a goal.

In VRCC's hydro-treadmill, speed, temperature, and water depth are electronically regulated, which allows for a consistently progressive therapy plan. This allows us to develop a custom, progressive therapy plan for every patient—from Chihuahuas to Newfoundlands.

Oftentimes, an animal that will not use a limb on land will use it in the water. Most dogs love the water and take to hydrotherapy extremely well. Our hydro-treadmill has an easy walk-in design and large viewing window, so access is easy and readily accepted by canine patients. The warm water helps patients relax, reduces pain, increases circulation, and increases flexibility of connective tissues. 

Hydrotherapy addresses many conditions and states:

  • Post-operative rehabilitation
    • Orthopedic surgery
    • Neurologic impairment
  • Fitness
  • Other acute and chronic conditions
    • Balance and coordination
    • Joint pain and inflammation
    • Soft tissue injuries

Most pets are willing to exercise on an underwater treadmill once they are slowly introduced to the equipment and the water. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of the hydro-treadmill.

"On several occasions, Dr. Hammel administered acupuncture to help Stone, our aging Black Lab. He was like a babe in her arms and the relaxing effects of the procedure seemed to help his mobility. It was a spa treatment for him with healthful results. " – Chris S.
"When Gracie had her hip surgery, the surgeon referred me to Dr. Hammel for physical rehabilitation to speed her recovery. She steadily improved and now plays just as hard as our puppy! I think she misses her rehab sessions though!" – Patrick H.
"Cody, our 12-year-old German Shepherd, has osteoarthritis and difficulty walking. He has been coming to VRCC for physical rehab and it is helping him tremendously. He feels better, has started playing again, and is now able to go for walks. Cody loves his rehab sessions, especially the underwater treadmill!" – Becca P.
"You can tell that Dr. Hammel cares about each pet and treats them as if they are her own. My dog always feels right at home with VRCC and I love the excellent care she receives there!" – Missy S.

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