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Veterinary Teaching Hospital Announces Animal Rehabilitation Therapy Program
[veterinary technician Kim Knap and Dr. Dianne Dunning with a patient]
[animal rehabilitation therapy]

Many of the benefits that physical therapy brings to people recovering from surgery, joint disease, or neurological problems are now available to animal patients as well.

Under the direction of Dr. Dianne Dunning, assistant professor and diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, and with the help of certified veterinary technician Kim Knap, who has trained in animal rehabilitation, the new program not only speeds recovery of post-surgical patients but improves quality of life for those with chronic problems, such as arthritis, obesity, and paralysis.

Many animal participants have already made dramatic improvements. For example, Bowie, a beagle, was paralyzed in both hind legs due to a spinal problem. Within two weeks, rehabilitation techniques such as stepping over cavaletti rails, moving on an underwater treadmill, and receiving electrical stimulation to muscles helped Bowie regain use of his hind legs.

Charley, a Champion English Labrador retriever who had impaired use of his right hind leg due to a fibrocartilaginous emboli (a common disease of large breed dogs frequently caused by broken spinal disc material entering the blood stream and blocking the blood supply), underwent rehabilitation at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital from July to January. Receiving rehabilitation therapy three to four times a day helped Charley get back to competition status.

The program is one of only three animal rehabilitation therapy programs in the Midwest.

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