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Thread: Hydrotherapy

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    Default Hydrotherapy

    Have any of you owners of SM afflicted dogs, taken your pet to Hydrotherapy?

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    I'm not sure that it would do anything -- the issue really is that affected dogs hurt when they do particular kinds of movements and the problem is neurological, not muscular. I've never heard of it being recommended by any neurologist or neurosurgeon.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    I'm not sure that it would do anything -- the issue really is that affected dogs hurt when they do particular kinds of movements and the problem is neurological, not muscular. I've never heard of it being recommended by any neurologist or neurosurgeon.
    I was more thinking of the pressure and exercise, the more muscle tone and healthy your other parts are the better. In water there wouldn't be so much pressure.

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    I actually thought about this because I looked to what helped humans. I noticed that Ella seemed to like it in the water and my thought was it reduced pressure, like a pregnant woman.

    Someone who is on the forum may be able to answer this Tania. Found this thread http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/a...p/t-32052.html

    "
    [SIZE=2]Tania[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]8th October 2009, 08:54 AM[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]Molly has Hip Dysplasia on both sides. She was treated with Glucosamine and she has had a course of cartrophen injections, we took her to hydrotherapy which we had to stop because of her sm. Basically we gradually built up the muscles around the joint to help create support. It was gradual but she is very stable now and doesn't have a major problem in that area. She never showed the symtoms of chewing or licking the area though![/SIZE]

    "

    All these things I tried were to reduce pain.
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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    Actually looks like she stopped it because of her SM. I have a friend that does do hydrotherapy and has a Cavalier with severe SM but also had some leg problems. I will ask her about it but what works for one may not the other. I think Tania tried acupuncture for either Molly or Dougall and they did not like it at all, but Ella loved it.
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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    I had my rottweiler go through this and he loved it. He had very bad hip dysplasia and elbow and shoulder problems as well, so this was the only exercise he could really do pain free. He always smiled and just had a great time during it

    It really helped build up his muscles, he was always so skinny and scrawny because of not being able to run and play lto build up muscle ike a normal dog.




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    The point here though is not whether hydrotherapy helps muscles or joints, as that is well established. The issue is whether it can help dogs with SM, amd SM has nothing to do with the health or strength of muscles or joints.

    Tania clearly had to stop hydrotherapy with a dog *because* it had SM so I would not think it would ever be considered to be a therapy for SM. But certainly some dogs with SM would not be bothered by swimming. It is the neurological pain caused by stimulation of nerve endings in the spine from body movements or ANY type of increased CSF flow that causes problems for dogs. CSF moves faster with any sort of exercise, so swimming could potentially aggravate SM symptoms for dogs that are sensitive to this. Swimming is much more demanding and tiring than walking and will have a greater effect on speeding up CSF flow -- not very desirable generally. And actually there is also more pressure on the body in water, pressing evenly all over, which could potentially aggravate SM.

    The harnesses sometimes used for hydrotherapy could also really aggravate a dog's pain.

    Set against that, many dogs with SM enjoy exercise and enjoy swimming. But anytime you increase the flow of CSF you risk increasing the effects of SM and worsening syrinxes (believed to be caused by CSF pressure in the spinal cord). All dogs differ so every individual case has to be considered but I'd not put my SM dogs into a hydrotherapy tank. I do however let them run around and play -- I do think this gives a quality of life that is more important than longevity if it means sitting and doing little.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    The point here though is not whether hydrotherapy helps muscles or joints, as that is well established. The issue is whether it can help dogs with SM, amd SM has nothing to do with the health or strength of muscles or joints.

    Tania clearly had to stop hydrotherapy with a dog *because* it had SM so I would not think it would ever be considered to be a therapy for SM. But certainly some dogs with SM would not be bothered by swimming. It is the neurological pain caused by stimulation of nerve endings in the spine from body movements or ANY type of increased CSF flow that causes problems for dogs. CSF moves faster with any sort of exercise, so swimming could potentially aggravate SM symptoms for dogs that are sensitive to this. Swimming is much more demanding and tiring than walking and will have a greater effect on speeding up CSF flow -- not very desirable generally. And actually there is also more pressure on the body in water, pressing evenly all over, which could potentially aggravate SM.

    The harnesses sometimes used for hydrotherapy could also really aggravate a dog's pain.

    Set against that, many dogs with SM enjoy exercise and enjoy swimming. But anytime you increase the flow of CSF you risk increasing the effects of SM and worsening syrinxes (believed to be caused by CSF pressure in the spinal cord). All dogs differ so every individual case has to be considered but I'd not put my SM dogs into a hydrotherapy tank. I do however let them run around and play -- I do think this gives a quality of life that is more important than longevity if it means sitting and doing little.

    "CSF moves faster with any sort of exercise." True, I did not consider that. This follow up appointment cannot come sooner, I have so many questions to ask. I need to type them and print them out. Just in case I get all emotional again.

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