Physical Rehabilitation

A full assessment (following veterinary diagnosis) allows us to develop an effective and safe rehabilitation plan using multiple modalities including hydrotherapy, laser (PBM) therapy, massage, use of our canine gym and prescribed home exercises.

Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is an aquatic exercise therapy conducted in our specially made canine underwater treadmill. It is suitable for surgery/injury rehabilitation, arthritic or elderly patients, improving strength and fitness, weight management and more.

Laser (PBM) Therapy

We use a Class IV Laser (810nm + 980nm) for Photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy. This has therapeutic benefits to speed up recovery for a range of conditions. With our high power laser we can deliver the target therapeutic dose  in a time effective manner.

Massage

Used to ease muscle and joint pain, reduce inflammation, improve flexibility, range of motion and circulation, aid in healing from surgery or injury and more. Our therapists have undergone training in understanding the right techniques and conditions where they should be applied.

Training and
qualifications

Our staff have studied and are qualified in Small Animal Hydrotherapy, Canine Rehabilitation, Canine Myofunctional Therapy and Laser Therapy.

Treatment
with us 

We will work alongside your vet, to provide tailored solutions and treatment modalities for your dog's current condition.

Professional
associations

We are members of the Australian Canine Rehabilitation Association (ACRA) and the Small Animal and Equine Naturopathic Association  (SAENA)

Booking
system

We have an easy to use booking system, allowing you to book online and make changes to your booking quickly and easily at any time of day.

About Us

At Canine Rehab and Hydrotherapy (CRAH)

We have completed specialised training and are qualified and experienced in various treatment modalities which we use to improve your dog's mobility and quality of life. This includes recovery after injury, before and after orthopaedic surgery recovery, loss of function, age related mobility, weight loss and more.
Treatment options include, hydrotherapy, class IV (PBM) laser therapy, massage, use of our specialised canine gym equipment, prescribed home exercises and guidance on use of braces or sports taping for functional support.

Getting back into top shape will be hard work and requires a lot of commitment from both for you and your dog. With our treatments and guidance plus your dedication we will help your dog improve their function, condition and quality of life.

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Physical Rehabilitation

A tailored rehabilitation plan according to your dog's condition. Rehabilitation helps your pet recover from injury, illness, or disease. Prior to commencing a rehabilitation plan you must first consult with your veterinarian for any medical concerns and diagnosis of your dog's condition. We will provide a series of treatment options for many different conditions.
Getting back into top shape will be hard work and requires a lot of commitment from both for you and your dog. With dedication and the right home exercise plan and guidance we will help your dog improve their function, condition and quality of life.

Suitable for: After injury, Before surgery, Post-surgery, Muscle strains, Loss of function, Weight gain, Age related mobility and more.

Treatment modalities
  • Canine underwater treadmill hydrotherapy
  • Laser (PBM) therapy
  • Canine gym equipment
  • Prescribed home exercises
  • Canine Myofunctional Therapy (CMT) Massage
  • Guidance on use of braces or sports taping for functional support

Hydrotherapy

An aquatic exercise therapy suitable for treatment of many different conditions. The buoyancy it provides alleviates some of the pressures of gravity and allows dogs to exercise safely, freely and effectively whilst in water. The increased viscosity of water, makes it an intensive yet low impact environment to help build muscle and allow joints to move more freely.
Suitable for: Hip dysplasia, Arthritis, Spinal injuries, Elbow dysplasia, Patellar luxation, Muscle atrophy, Weight gain, Age related mobility, Muscle strengthening, and more.

Benefits
  • Treatment in a specially designed canine underwater treadmill
  • Specialised training with expert knowledge of treatment options
  • Hands on guidance and support ensuring the highest level of effectiveness for the specified condition.
  • Return to function and improve quality of life
  • Heated water to optimal temperature for muscles and movement
  • Adjustable water level, speed, intensity and duration of the treatment.
  • Improved cardiovascular fitness
  • Lubricate joints and reduce degradation
  • Gait retraining
  • Improve range of motion
  • Reduce pain and inflammation

Laser (PBM) Therapy

Laser therapy is a common term for Photobiomodulation (PBM Therapy) – previously known as cold laser, or low level laser therapy.
It works by emitting specific light frequencies into the body’s tissues stimulating inter-cellular activity. This light acts as a signal within the cells, jump starting the cellular processes including healing and cell replication. This results in quicker recovery to skin, muscles, nerves, tendons, cartilage and bones.

To achieve results from PBM therapy it is important to follow an adequate treatment schedule and appropriate dose with sufficient power for the treating condition. We use a high powered Class 4 (IV) Laser (with 810nm + 980nm wavelengths). This allows us to deliver the target therapeutic dose for the relevant condition (even for deep tissues) in a time effective manner.
For the best results it is important to administer the therapeutic dose with consecutive treatments over a few weeks. Usually 2-3 sessions in the first couple of weeks, and tapering down according to the condition after that. Sessions can be conducted as stand alone treatments, or combined with hydrotherapy or massage.

Benefits
  • Accelerates tissue repair and cell growth
  • Improved nerve function
  • Faster healing
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Pain relief
  • Non-invasive, drug and pain free

Canine Myofunctional Therapy (Massage)

A muscle therapy incorporating remedial massage and stretching techniques tailored for use on dogs from various human related massage disciplines. It has many health benefits for fitness of muscles, joints and general health. A strain or injury affecting the normal function of the muscles and joints can cause muscle tension, inflammation, contractures, spasms and trigger points in the muscles. When a muscle remains contracted, not be able to relax the overall length of the muscle shortens, becomes stiff and decreases the range of motion (ROM) of the affected joints.
Conditions for CMT: After injury, muscle strain, post surgery, reduced ROM, preparation for work or competition, arthritis, age related mobility, relaxation and more.

Benefits
  • Improve comfort and mobility
  • Restore muscle function
  • Reduce muscle tension
  • Release muscle contractions and spasms
  • Improve ROM (joint movement)
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Pain Relief
  • Improve circulation
  • Increase nutrient uptake
  • Improve immune function
  • Elimination of toxins and waste from muscles


Meet Our People

Our Team


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Some more information

Frequently Asked Questions

Hydrotherapy is an aquatic exercise therapy which is suitable to help treat many different conditions. The aquatic environment and the buoyancy it provides allows dogs who may not be able to bare their entire weight on land, to exercise freely and effectively whilst in water. The alleviation of the pressures of gravity combined with walking the body though the increased viscosity (thickness) of water compared to air, makes it an intensive yet safe environment to help maintain and build muscle and allow joints to move more freely. Our hydrotherapy is conducted in our specially designed canine underwater treadmill. This allows us to control the water level, speed, intensity and duration of the treatment. Having undergone specialised advanced training in the use of underwater treadmills we have obtained expert knowledge of treatment options for many differing conditions. Your dog will be guided and monitored throughout the treatment with a direct hands on approach ensuring the highest level of support and effectiveness of the treatment for the specified condition. Hydrotherapy can be used for surgery/injury rehabilitation, arthritic or elderly patients, improving strength and fitness, weight management and more. .

Whilst we do not require a specific written referral from your vet, we ask that you speak to your veterinarian / vet receptionist and ask them to email us their clinical notes, diagnosis and any surgery details including imagery (x‐rays, CT scans, etc.) to contact@crah.com.au
These notes give us an understanding of condition you’re looking to treat with hydrotherapy, health history, details of medications, and of your dog’s current physical condition to ensure there are no contraindications to treatment.
With this information we can develop the safest and most effective treatment plan using therapies which complement their veterinary care to help improve your dog's condition. As we are not veterinarians, we cannot diagnose conditions, perform surgery or prescribe medications. We will however work alongside your veterinarian, to ensure we provide the right treatment for your dog’s condition.

1. Unless it is absolutely necessary, please do not feed your dog for at least 3 hours before a session.

2. Limit the amount of exercise your dog has that day. This will allow them to get the most out of their session and be at their strongest.

3. Bring a towel. We will dry your dog with one of our towels after getting out of the water, but it is always best to bring along an extra towel to get them extra dry and to have for the car trip home.

4. Please ensure your dog has been to the toilet beforehand. If you arrive early please stop in at a local park to toilet your dog. This is of the utmost importance. If your dog has a gastrointestinal issue or diarrhoea we will not be able to see your dog for a hydrotherapy appointment, but we can substitute for a laser therapy or massage session if this is suited to your dog’s condition.

If your dog does a poo in the water it can mean we have to cut your appointment short, and depending on the severity, it may affect other appointments after you.

Our initial consults for hydrotherapy run for up to 1.5 hours. We have decided to set it this way in order to ensure that we have enough time to adequately discuss your dog’s condition, and so your dog has a positive first experience with underwater treadmill hydrotherapy.
It can be a strange experience for a dog to get into a glass tank with someone they just met, only to have water come out of seemingly nowhere, and once settled the ground starts moving beneath their feet.
Accordingly, it is very important that we follow the dog’s comfort level and go its own pace. It is really important that we build a positive association with the underwater treadmill, as the dog will get a lot more out of their treatment when they are relaxed and motivated.

In order to do this, we ask that you bring along your dog’s favourite motivator – this can be a squeaky toy or ball, or a very high value treat (things like peanut butter or BBQ chicken work well) so that we can start your dog off on the right foot, and they quickly make the association that hydrotherapy = treats or ball etc.

Ongoing sessions run for approximately 45 mins from the time you arrive to leaving. This does not mean that your dog will be exercising for 45 mins. Depending on the age and condition of your dog, your dog might walk / swim for approx. 10‐20 mins total of your appointment time. We run our sessions in intervals, with lots of time for breaks in between rounds to rest, stretch and incorporate some massage in the treatment. As your dog’s fitness improves so will the exercise duration.

- If your dog is a bitch in season

- If there are any open wounds or superficial infections.

- In the acute phase of an injury. As hydrotherapy is an exercise therapy it is important that we allow the dog to rest during this phase of recovery.

- If your dog has a gastrointestinal issue or diarrhoea (we will not be able to see your dog for a hydrotherapy appointment, but we can substitute for a laser therapy or massage session if this is suited to your dog’s condition).

- If your dog has respiratory problems or advanced cardiac illness.

- If your dog has received a topical flea/worm treatment in the last 72 hours.

- If your dog is undergoing chemotherapy, we may not be able to see them for the following few days after a dose.

There may be certain circumstances when treatment might not be suitable for your dog.
In certain conditions conducting treatments may have a negative effect on the dog’s specific condition, overall health or wellbeing. These factors are called contraindications.
There are two types of contraindication which may be present. A general contraindication refers to a circumstance in which treatment cannot be performed at all.
The other type of contraindication is a regional contraindication. This means that the regional area of the dog which is affected should not be treated, but that treatment may take place in other parts of the body.
A caution is another condition whereby the dog may require some adjustment in the way the therapy is conducted around a specific the area of concern.

Contraindications may come in many forms and may be related to medication, superficial or skin issues, infection, pain, inflammation, burns, fractures, heart conditions, malignancies, neurological conditions, injury, pregnancy and recent travel.

We are trained in various treatment modalities and as part of this training, we have learnt to identify conditions in which treatment in each field may be detrimental.

Specific contraindications:

Treatments cannot be carried out in acute stage: fractures, inflammation, severe muscle injury, torn ligament, joint swelling.

Conditions where treatments may only be carried out with vet approval: on blood thinning medication, heart conditions, following surgery, spinal conditions, skin conditions, in pain, malignancy (cancer) or infections.

Treatments cannot be undertaken if your dog is pain, pregnant (1st trimester), or immediately following a very long flight or car trip.
As part of our assessment prior to starting therapy we will require your dog's full health history and veterinary records, including imagery (x‐rays, CT scans, etc.), details of medications and any other supporting documents you can provide. This will enable us to develop the safest and most effective treatment plan using therapies which complement their veterinary care to help improve your dog's condition.

We will provide advice on best practice for environment and exercise according to your dog’s condition following treatment, with ongoing support as required.