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Hydrotherapy Treatment Offered To Dogs

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Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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MONKTON, Md. (WJZ) — It seems the sky is the limit when it comes to keeping your pet healthy.

Mike Schuh reports a new treatment–which may seem extravagant–is paying off.

You may not notice it but Ziggy is recovering from surgery. He’s at the vet’s for therapy.

“Probably, I guess it was last summer we noticed that after long hikes, he was coming back favoring that hind leg and after a while, he was really holding it up,” said Beth Easton.

Ziggy had a bum knee, the human equivalent of a torn ACL.

“We had to do something,” said Easton. “I would never consider putting this dog down.”

A few months ago he had surgery and is now walking fine.

“He means the world to us,” said Easton.

Because of that, his post-op therapy includes hydrotherapy. Ziggy regains his strength in a box that fills with warm water. With a little encouragement, Ziggy–and most dogs–are fine.

“Now he knows what’s coming, that’s for sure,” said Easton.

It’s a moving underwater treadmill. A dog that exercises too quickly after surgery can damage himself. An older dog can’t get good exercise because of pain. The treadmill tank takes much of the weight off of their joints.

“It allows them to build the muscle in that leg so they can rebuild their strength to use that leg quicker so they can get back to running, chasing the ball, catching the Frisbee,” said Dr. Matt McGee.

At $50 a pop, Beth’s husband had doubts.

“He’s skeptical about the surgery, he’s skeptical about the mumbo jumbo water treatment,” she said.

But Ziggy got better.

“But he’s definitely pleased with the results,” said Easton. “Ziggy and I have convinced my husband.”

Other than the Mt. Carmel Animal Hospital, there are other vets who have those special tanks. Some have dedicated dog swimming pools. For more information, click here.

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