Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Pet parents in the Chippewa Valley won't have to travel across the state anymore to get state-of-the-art rehabilitation care for their canine kiddos.
Northside Pet Hospital in Eau Claire showed off their new underwater treadmill at an open house Saturday afternoon. Veterinarian David Menard said, just like human, animals need plenty of exercise, especially as they get older.
He said as far as he knows, Northside is the only animal hospital in the area to offer a low-impact rehab option like this and it's all thanks to his old dog Leroy.
"He blew his ACL as many dogs do. And post-surgically I talked to the surgeon in the Twin Cities I took him to said, 'OK, what about rehab?' just because it was an automatic question for me," Dr. David Menard said. "And he kind of looked at me funny and said, 'Well, there's a center in Burnsville,' and that was the only one he knew of."
Dr. Menard said dogs lose strength in their hind legs as they get older, so the resistance of the water in the treadmill is perfect for building up their muscles.
But there are easy ways to build strength on dry land and at home. Dr. Menard suggests using ramps, boxes and steps and said simply walking your dog on a regular basis throughout its life will do wonders.