For laminitis, there is no better treatment than an ice bath. Adding water to the ice is important to protect the skin from freezing. Direct application of ice can freeze the tissue over a short period.
Water can also be used as a form of resistance training when the horse is forced to move through the water. An added benefit to this is the buoyancy caused by the water lifting the horse’s weight off the injured limb.
Two forms of water therapy are swimming and underwater treadmills. Swimming can be done in specially designed pools or in a pond. Down here in south FL, I would worry about alligators and water moccasin snakes in an open pond. Underwater treadmills are often seen at rehab farms because of their unique use and frequent maintenance. Those who have used them are pleased with the quicker return to function as the cardio effects of training remain while the limb is healing.
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