Physical rehabilitation uses various low stress and safe therapeutic techniques to decrease pain and restore function in a pet experiencing arthritis; recovering from an injury, condition, or surgery; looking to lose weight; or involved in sports or athletic activity. It is an extremely valuable tool in veterinary medicine particularly for orthopedic and neurologic recovery.
During our assessment, we look at the entire animal, focusing not only on the obvious problem but also other issues that may have developed as a result. Pets are extremely delicate after an injury or surgery, and special care must be taken during the recovery process to ensure that the affected area is not reinjured or strained. We use a variety of proven manual techniques to slowly and safely increase stamina and flexibility in your pet, while putting minimal stress on recovering tissues. It is our primary goal to improve the quality of your pet’s life so he or she can remain fit, active, and pain free. A pet that receives rehab therapies following a procedure is more likely to achieve mobility closer to what he or she exhibited prior to the injury than those who do not.
Our services include:
Using manual techniques adopted from human physical therapy, joints are mobilized in specific and targeted ways to restore range of motion and improve function.
We use a temperature controlled underwater treadmill with patients who can benefit from low-impact exercise. Overweight, post-surgical, and neurological patients are often more successful in achieving their goals using the buoyancy and resistance of water. The underwater treadmill is much more specific and controlled than open water swimming, which does not allow full joint extension and, in some cases, can be counterproductive to our goals. Patients often feel more comfortable in this environment with their encouraging owners close to them. The underwater treadmill is also extremely beneficial for our working, show, and agility dogs who need to be in top physical condition.
Both passive and active exercises are performed to improve functional mobility and strength in our patients. A wide variety of specific, goal-oriented exercises are taught to owners as part of the home exercise program (HEP). As the animals progress, they are reevaluated and exercises are modified to accomplish new goals.
Using cold packs we can decrease the inflammatory response after an injury which, in turn, decreases pain. The application of heat increases blood supply to tissues, helping muscles to relax, stretch, and generally reduce pain.
Laser therapy has been used successfully in humans for over 30 years. It uses light to create a physiological effect in the body which accelerates healing, treats pain, inflammation, muscle spasm, wounds, and arthritis.
Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES)
This treatment uses a low level current that aids in muscle contraction and decreases swelling. It is very useful for neurological and orthopedic patients to prevent or treat muscle wasting, control muscle spasms, and decrease swelling and pain.
Transcutaneous Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulation (TENS)
TENS, like NMES, produces a low level current that controls pain by disrupting pain perception pathways.
As your dog enters his or her senior years, we offer exercise guidelines and advice for helping your dog age gracefully while maintaining quality of life.
We specialize in coaching you and your dog for a successful return to sport whatever your favorite "game" might be! Our focus is on improving strength, flexibility, endurance, balance, and body awareness through individualized programs.
Orthotics, prosthetics and other assistive devices such as wheelchairs are emerging technologies in the veterinary field that can aid in the well-being of your pet. These devices are used to either correct or accommodate the affected limb(s) of your pet that have been disabled through congenital deformity, trauma, illness, or old age. There are many advantages afforded by orthoses and prostheses and they may offer treatment options where none existed before as well as improve outcome with current therapy. We can educate you on the variety of available orthotics and prosthetics as well as help you weigh out the pros and cons of each. We are also able to obtain and fit these devices, working with your family veterinarian to ensure they are utilized successfully in your pet.
Frequently Asked Questions