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We have recently added hydrotherapy through our water treadmill. Our technician who operates the treadmill has a certificate from the Canautics Canine Aqua Therapy as a certified aqua therapist.


For many patients, water therapy is combined with other services provided by Casper Animal Medical Center to aid in recovery. Our technician has received certification to better help water therapy patients. With the training, our technician is able to create treatment plans based on individual patient needs. The treadmill provides therapy opportunities for dogs facing mobility issues, but can also be used to help hyperactive animals get energy out. The treatment does not require a veterinarian referral. We accept all animals and you do not have to be patient at the Casper Animal Medical Center to participate in aquatic therapy.

What is hydrotherapy or aquatic therapy?

Hydrotherapy, also called aquatic therapy, is a form of physical therapy for dogs utilizing the buoyancy of water. Our certified hydrotherapist leads your dog through a series of exercises in water at a specially equipped rehabilitation center. Aquatic therapy for dogs is a low-impact treatment that can help to improve your pup's strength, range of motion and endurance. The buoyancy properties of water minimize weight bearing stress to the joints, which helps prevent tissue injuries, inflammation and pain.

What conditions can aquatic therapy help treat?

  • Aquatic therapy is beneficial for:

  • Post-operative recovery from orthopedic procedures

  • Dogs with neurological conditions

    • Spinal injuries or surgery can cause impairment of motor function, which may be treated by allowing the dog to exercise in water; it provides support and allows the dog to exercise its muscles while nerve regeneration is taking place. Degenerative conditions can make normal weight bearing exercise difficult and pressure on joints and limbs may aggravate some conditions, so hydrotherapy can be used in these cases to allow the dog to exercise in an environment where there is no pressure on the affected areas.

  • Pets suffering from painful osteoarthritis

  • Dogs dealing with pain due to hip dysplasia

  • Paralyzed dogs which can result in muscle atrophy

  • Helping overweight pets get the exercise they need to lose weight

    • Obese dogs can build fitness and lose weight as a result of exercise in a hydrotherapy pool without putting excessive weight on their joints. Hydrotherapy may be used as part of a general fitness routine for dogs.

    • Aquatic therapy can also be used as a training tool to help working dogs reach optimal fitness levels.

    • For sporting dogs and other highly active breeds, recreational hydrotherapy is a great way to add physical conditioning exercises that help increase stamina and endurance as well as strengthen muscles, all of which can not only improve athletic performance but also help guard against muscle strain and injuries.

How does aquatic therapy work?

Aquatic therapy utilizes the buoyancy, resistance, viscosity, and hydrostatic pressure of water to help your dog work painful joints and limbs. By altering the water level your dog can swim weightlessly in the water, providing zero-impact exercise for your pooch. Or by reducing the water level so that your pup's feet touch the underwater treadmill, the water's buoyancy can allow your dog to gently 'run' on the treadmill without putting excess stress on their painful limbs.

The buoyancy provided by the water works to reduce the stress placed on your dog's limbs and joints, and allow your pup is able to take part in a fun exercise that can help speed their recovery from injury or just help them to lose weight.

Typically, warm water is used to help loosen muscles and speed recovery for injured dogs, whereas colder water can be ideal for working dogs who will have a hard workout while in the water.

Our Underwater Treadmill

The underwater treadmill allows us to gradually and gently introduce controlled levels of weight bearing exercises by varying the water level (and as such controlling the level of buoyancy). Treatment using our underwater treadmill is commonly used to for dogs with joint issues and arthritis.

The underwater treadmill is encased in a glass watertight container big enough to accommodate most dogs. A side door is opened to allow your dog to walk in, then the door is shut, and water fills the chamber to the level just above the dog’s legs.

Slowly the treadmill will begin to move and encourage your dog to walk. The water in the tank provides strength training resistance while eliminating the added stress of gravity.