Weight Loss & Fitness Programmes
The best way to maintain a healthy animal is to maintain a good diet and exercise regime and therefore an optimal body composition.
Any additional weight puts the musculoskeletal system under unnecessary additional mechanical stress, leading to a higher risk of injury and faster progression of degenerative disease. It has also been reported that an elevated body fat percentage physically restricts joint motion and exaggerates the inflammatory process. Greater strength and endurance also leads to a reduced risk of injury as the joints are provided with more stability and the tissues are less susceptible to fatigue-related injury.
Hydrotherapy is an ideal form of exercise for promoting strengthening and endurance, however, must be performed in a safe and controlled environment. Other forms of musculoskeletal training include walking over obstacles, baited stretches and use of aids such as wobble cushions, all of which engage the core stabilising muscles.
Weight loss and fitness programmes are developed first by identifying the animals strengths, weaknesses and goals. Their current activity level is then discussed and adaptations made where appropriate. The exercise programme is a working progress and regular adaptations are made to advance towards the individual animals goals.