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Ribacke, Erika, 2009. Hur simträning påverkar hundar. First cycle, G2E. Skara: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)



Hydrotherapy is a relatively new area when it comes to treatment and prevention of different problems in dogs, but an area that is growing in popularity. In Sweden, the person who performs hydrotherapy on dogs doesn’t need veterinary education, which is the case in some other countries. What makes hydrotherapy advantageous is that water has an ability to provide an environment where injured body parts can be supported, which means that rehabilitation can start early without the risk of affecting the injury and in the same time relieve the pain for the patient. There are only a few studies of hydrotherapy on dogs and these studies focus on the physical health of the dog. For instance there are studies that show that hydrotherapy can improve joint function in dogs with cranial cruciate ligament rupture. Studies of hydrotherapy on humans are more common and show that hydrotherapy for instance can be beneficial on osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.

From an ethological- and animal welfare point of view it is important to see how dogs feel in the situation of hydrotherapy both by studying their physical health and their behaviour. Often these two parts depend on each other but not always, because dogs often hide their pain. The aim of this thesis was to investigate how dogs are affected both during and after hydrotherapy, from an ethological- and animal welfare point of view. The focus of this study has not only been on the physical health of the dogs but also on how their behaviour is affected and the purpose was to get the owners own experiences of this.

To get the owners experiences of how dogs are affected by hydrotherapy, inquiries were sent out to clients at a rehabilitation centre which provides hydrotherapy for dogs. The result of this was that 31 replies could be used in this study. Questions were asked about the background of the dog and experiences of how the dog has been affected by hydrotherapy in different circumstances.

This study shows that hydrotherapy can have a positive effect on the physical health of dogs and on their behaviour, which is shown in the owners’ experiences of their dogs having more strength in their daily life and being mor positive, in comparison with how they were before the hydrotherapy began. Hydrotherapy also seems to have a pain relieving effect, which in turn seems to have a positive effect on the temperament of the dogs. Many dog owners experience a positive change in their dog’s temperament, despite the fact that they experienced the dog to normally be very playful. If this is because the dog have been hiding it’s pain is hard to interpret, but it does show the importance of studying both the physical health and the behaviour of the dog. The fact that pain can be reduced and that more fortitude of the dogs increase the opportunities for them to be stimulated in their daily life indicate that hydrotherapy can improve quality of life for dogs. Complications or problems due to hydrotherapy doesn’t seem to be common for the dogs in this study. From an ethological- and animal welfare point of view this study shows that if consideration is taken to how the dog is affected by hydrotherapy, hydrotherapy can be said to be beneficial for dogs.

Main title:Hur simträning påverkar hundar
Authors:Ribacke, Erika
Supervisor:Andersson, Maria
Examiner:Jung, Jens
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:249
Year of Publication:2009
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK002 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme 180 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)
Keywords:hund, simning, fysioterapi, simträning, påverkan, djur, rehabilitering
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Miscellaneous animal disorders
Animal husbandry
Deposited On:02 Jul 2009 10:55
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:09

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