Veterinarian Assisted Rehabilitation
Just like humans pursuing physical therapy for treatment of aches and pains, canine patients can benefit from rehabilitation therapy for orthopedic and neurologic diseases. Rehabilitation therapy focuses on increasing strength, improving gait, and pain management through the utilization of manual therapies, therapeutic exercises, cold laser treatments, and swimming. We frequently see patients post-op, but can also assist in strengthening patients when surgery is not recommended. Canine rehabilitation is also very beneficial for geriatric patients with decreased muscle strength or overweight patients who need to work on fitness and weight management.
Some of the orthopedic diseases we treat include, but are not limited to:
Pre and Post-op cases
Cruciate Ligament Tears
Medial Shoulder Syndrome
Some of the Neurologic diseases we treat include, but are not limited to:
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
Fibrocartilagenous Embolism (FCE)
Cold Laser Therapy
LASER therapy, or “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation” is a specific wavelength of light that causes a decrease in inflammation, increase in blood flow, increased oxygen production, and improved healing ability of tissues. All of these factors combined can aid in overall pain management. LASER therapy is frequently used in patients with arthritis, muscles strains, tendinopathies, and wound healing to decrease pain and inflammation, improve range of motion, and promote tissue healing.
Did you know that 53% of dogs in the US are overweight? Carrying around that extra weight can create excess stress on the joints leading to increased joint disease such as arthritis, and predisposing your canine partner to orthopedic injuries such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and cruciate ligament tears. A study done by Purina in 2002 showed that keeping your dog at a lean weight can actually increase their average life-span by 2 years! If you have an overweight pet, we can assist with developing a healthy diet and providing an exercise schedule to get your pet back into peak shape again
Swimming can be a very beneficial exercise for your pet and a key component of rehabilitation therapy. The buoyancy provided by water can help to decrease stress on the joints during this activity, making it more comfortable for our patients to move. The increased resistance provided by the water as compared to air works to increase muscle mass and strength. Our water is also heated, which aids in improving blood flow and provides a warm environment for muscles to relax, therefore decreasing tension and spasm and improving range of motion. Swimming can be used in combination with rehabilitation therapy or on its own for fitness and exercise.
Sometimes our patients can benefit from the stability of a cart or other brace. We have worked closely with Help ‘Em Up Harness, Walkin’ Wheels carts, My Pet’s Brace, and Therapaws. If you are interested in any of these assistive devices for your pet, we can help you with measuring and fitting them appropriately.