CAPS celebrity Beatrice was all about her SPA treatment last month. As our readers know by now, she’s the princess of the Howard household- meaning: she usually gets what she wants. Regardless of her royalty status, the droopy-eyed cutie has some severe health issues, including deformed elbows (congenital luxation of the elbow’s radial heads) and glaucoma. After carrying the heavy pooch around and getting a shoulder injury, CAPS president Deborah Howard decided to make an appointment for some doggie physical therapy. Bea experienced a new sensation in the doggie world: underwater treadmill therapy.

The unique H2O treatment helps pets with muscle problems and weight issues reach recovery faster- in other cases it helps with pain. The water bouyancy reduces pressure and stress caused by the animal’s weight (gravity can be a bummer!). In turn, with the lack of Earth’s greedy pull (go physics!), pooches such as Bea do the exercises they need in a much more comfortable and safe environment.

The recent practice hasn’t come up with any jaw-dropping controversies (sorry gawkers!), but it DOES have its drawbacks. One very obvious problem: some animals HATE water (if you have a cat, you know what we’re talking about). While a few kittens will be willing to jump in the water, you’ll be hard pressed to find a grown feline that won’t find the whole experience downright traumatizing. However, a professional with experience is key to the success of the treatment, even more so than the actual equipment. Before making any final decisions, do a little research and check out reviews: it’ll make things much easier.

A good example of how professionals make “the difference” is located right in Walpole, MA. The Sterling Impressions Animal Rehabilitation Center of New England features low beds and a soothing environment to diminish your pup’s fear of anything clinic-related. The staff goes out of its way to make every session an enjoyable experience, thus improving the effectiveness of therapy.

While treatments vary, therapists choose from a variety of methods, usually going for the water. Bea’s treatment included a water treadmill. The unique hydrotherapy allows the professional to custom tailor the session based on the companion animal’s specific needs. Everything from water turbulence, water depth, speed, direction, and even temperature are factors that play a key role in the effectiveness of the procedure and the overall experience. Besides enjoying her time in the water, the Howard basset hound enjoyed massages, stretching, heat, and ice. She also experienced the magic of a red. peanut-shaped therapy ball and a wobble board to practice balance and help with core conditioning. According to Deborah, her loyal human, Bea’s favorite part was playing the star of the spa while receiving a massage surrounded by physical therapists and interns (now that’s the good life!).

Success stories are abundant. Pets all around the country have overcome everything from body weight issues to major surgery recovery while splish-splashing in the treadmill (including horses). In Bea’s case, the infamous blogger found some respite from the tedious joint pain while Deborah got the chance to relax her shoulders.

Contact your vet or a professional to see which treatments are best for your companion. We assure you, it’s worth checking out.

The Sterling Impressions Animal Rehabilitation Center of New England:

1008 East Street Walpole, MA 02081-2980

(508) 668 – 7946

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