As I mentioned in a previous post, Captain has a torn ACL in one of his knees. If the tear gets worse, the recommendation is surgery. Since knee surgery is the absolute last thing we want to do, we have opted for more alternative forms of treatment, specifically holistic anti-inflammatories and hydrotherapy.
Lucky for us, we have a fabulous canine rehab pool in our area, one of only two in the state, with therapists trained and accredited in England. Research has shown that weightless, no-impact hydrotherapy can helps dogs with ailments from spinal cord injuries to arthritis, to everything in between.
Hydrotherapy opens up the blood vessels near the surface of the skin and relaxes the superficial muscles just under the skin allowing the muscles to work more efficiently. Hydrotherapy is considered to be a natural anti-inflammatory due to its ability to reduce tissue swelling and aid in the relief of pain and stiffness.
Because the temperature of the water is 88 degrees, the muscles warm up quickly and the dog relaxes....even when the temps outside are frigid! Captain was a little unsure of the whole situation at first -especially the life jacket- but, as soon as Coni pulled out the tennis balls and started throwing them in the pool, he was unstoppable! Captain has never met a tennis ball he didn't like. The cost of ACL surgery, recovery and pain meds equates to about 100 hydrotherapy sessions. Given that fact, we will continue to do the hydrotherapy sessions as long as we possibly can. It's really a no-brainer when you think about it!