Today Suki went to her first water therapy session to rehabilitate her walking following her spinal injury 18 months ago. We've been meaning to get her here for a while, but since she injured her knee last fall, we only now just got clearance from her doctor to start the water therapy.
The facility is called Water for Dogs and is located in Tribecca. Most of their patients are dogs with similar injuries to Suki, but they have also treated a few cats. I can't imagine putting a cat into a water tank. I'm sure the cat can't imagine it, either.
Her sessions consist of two exercises. First, she walks on a submerged treadmill that uses her buoyancy in water to take weight off her legs. It gives her a full range of motion while also reducing strain. Once she calms down and starts walking, its amazing to see both her legs moving as if no injury ever occurred.
The submerged treadmill with her two physical therapists.
Her second exercise is in the swimming pool, where she swims around and works her hind legs through the water. The goal of both of these exercises is to build muscle tone, restore muscle memory and stimulate the nerves in her hind legs.
Today she worked with a senior therapist, but over time she'll likely do more of these exercises on her own or with minimal supervision. Our goal is to bring her twice a week for 5 weeks and assess her progress. The cost, while not outrageous, will be a consideration in how much treatment she ultimately receives.
A concerned parent
She really took to my parents' pool last summer, so I know she'll enjoy this as well. She gets a bath out of it, a massage, and of course, lots of attention. She's asleep after her first session, snoring away like crazy. Given that, I guess I we all win.