Physical Rehabilitation Services

It doesn't matter what your dog does on a daily basis, whether that is hunting for game or hunting for treats, racing around the agility course or around the living room, we are here to keep them physically fit and healthy. Our patients are currently rehabilitating from surgeries and injuries as well as overcoming the pain of arthritis and getting themselves into tip-top condition.

Physical Rehabilitation Referral Form

Evaluations

Before beginning any physical rehabilitation all pets are given a thorough evaluation. This involves a complete history, evaluation of the gait and movement, a physical examination and assessment of the pet's structure, muscle and joints. This evaluation allows us to make a plan for addressing recoveries from surgery or injuries and set down what type of progress should be expected and how long it might take. If your dog is coming for physical conditioning or weight loss, we will evaluate your goals for the dog and make a plan to achieve that as well as thoughts on length of time needed for the goals to be accomplished. If this involves us setting goals for helping your pet to cope with arthritis, we will evaluate the level of arthritis pain and what we could expect physical rehabilitation to do to help your pet.

On a separate note, Dr. Lisa will also do specific evaluations of litters of puppies as possible prospects for conformation showing or competition events.

Treatments

Laser Therapy All treatments are decided once the evaluations have been done and plans and expectations for progress are set. All treatments take into account the pain level of your pet as well as their comfort level with each varying type of treatment.

Treatments may involve:

Conditioning Programs:

This is for all dogs that are active or competitive in their day to day life. This includes but it not limited to dog who hunt, run agility, compete in obedience or rally, jog or hike regularly with their people, herd, compete in conformation events, race in luring coursing or other racing events, participate in tracking, search and rescue or law enforcement work. All of these dogs need to stay at the top of their form physically and this includes muscle tone, joint health, core strength and stamina. Conditioning work can help with all of these things and by keeping them in optimal health and strength you will not only help them succeed more in their assigned “job” but also make them much less likely to injure themselves.

Weight Loss Programs:

We all know that there are two things that will lead to weight loss most effectively. One is the limiting of calorie intake and we can help plan that for your pet. It also includes increasing exercise and we can help with that as well. As your pet loses weight, we can also help to tone the body and strengthen the core muscles which may have lost tone during their period of lower activity. We hope to not only have successful weight loss but also have the healthiest patient possible when the goal weight is reached.

Arthritis Pain Control Programs:

Physical rehabilitation can be very helpful for patients who are suffering from arthritis pain whether early or late in the disease. The goals of physical rehab are to increase mobility of the joints, strengthen muscles that support the joints, and lose weight. In doing these things the pain of arthritis will be diminished. This type of program would turn into a maintenance type of treatment since arthritis does not ever go away. Each patient will likely continue to come for therapy on a regular basis for the rest of their lives in order to keep as functional and comfortable as possible. The time in between visits would depend entirely on the patient's progress and needs over time.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Animal Physical Rehabilitation

Therapy BallPhysical rehabilitation is very similar to physical therapy in humans. It is designed to improve function of the body while decreasing pain over time getting the patient to their optimal physical abilities. It can be used for recovery from surgery or injury or wounds. But it can also be used to increase stamina and strength as well as general joint/muscle/body health. We use treatments as basic as heat cold or range of motion as well as state of the art treatments like therapeutic laser. We can use exercises on the therapy balls or on the land treadmill as well as prescribe exercises for specific muscles or joints. All of this also involves a bit of animal psychology (and treats) to help get the patient relaxed and enjoying the process so that they can have the best results in a fun, happy environment.

What Can Be Treated With Physical Therapy?

Just as in humans, we can help animals recover from surgery, injuries or wounds as well as neurological injuries like spinal trauma and strokes. Arthritic conditions can also be helped with physical rehabilitation.

Specific diagnoses that can be helped by physical rehabilitation include:

If you feel your pet may be helped by physical rehabilitation and has a specific issue, please call and inquire.

How Do I Get My Pet Started?

Please speak with your veterinarian about physical rehabilitation for your pet. A veterinarian's referral is needed for us to evaluate and possible begin rehabilitation. If you have difficulty speaking with your veterinarian about referral, please call us and we will contact them for you. You can print out a referral form from this site to have your vet fill out.

How Long Before I Will Notice My Pet Is Better?

That completely depends on your pet and their diagnosis and possible surgeries etc. It also depends on the individual as to how quickly they will progress in the treatment. As a rule of thumb, if you come very soon after injury or the problem has not been going on for very long, it may only take 4 to 5 sessions. If it is an ongoing or long-term issue like arthritis or spinal trauma, it will likely take a much longer time to see results and may require life long therapy in some manner.

It is very important that in the first visit after your pet is evaluated, that we set up reasonable and reachable goals and expectations for your pets. There are some patients that will simply never be able to become a tri-athelete no matter what we do. And sometimes, while the goal is reachable, it will take a long process to get there. Please make sure to verbalize what you expect so that we can let you know if that is possible and make more realistic goals if needed.


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