Dog in underwater treadmill
Severely debilitated or paralyzed pets can walk in water long before they can walk on land. Pets with severe arthritis can exercise in an environment that is non concussive on their sore joints.

Rehabilitation: Treatment Approaches

Aquatic Therapy - video 1 & video 2

The natural properties of water such as buoyancy, cohesion, hydrostatic pressure and resistance make it a unique and invaluable addition to any rehabilitation program. Severely debilitated or paralyzed pets can walk in water long before they can walk on land. Pets with severe arthritis can exercise in an environment that is non concussive on their sore joints. Regardless of the condition, most patients are able to exercise longer and more safely in the water.

Land treadmill exercise and acclimation - video

Many dogs can be safely taught to exercise on a regular treadmill. This can help with behavior, weight, and disease processes. This service is available to anyone in need.

Acupuncture, Acute and Chronic pain consultations

For these services, please contact our Anesthesiology/Pain Management service.

Local Cold Therapy (Hypothermia)

Local hypothermia is used immediately after surgery, injury or exercise to cause the blood vessels to constrict. This helps decrease pain, decrease swelling, and relax skeletal muscles.

Local Hot Therapy (Hyperthermia)

Hyperthermia is used to improve blood and lymphatic flow and nerve velocity. This aids healing by enhancing local fluid flow and decreasing swelling.

Soft Tissue Massage - video

Massage is the gentle manipulation of muscle and soft tissue to increase blood and lymphatic flow through the tissues. Massage helps increase the delivery of nutrients and removal of waste products and excess water from the affected areas. Massage can relieve tight tendons and muscles and help relieve chronic pain.

Passive Range of Motion (PROM) Exercises - video

PROM exercises help maintain the joint nourishment and range of motion. The movements of the limb and joints are performed by the therapist and involve no exertion by the patient.

Therapeutic Exercises

Therapeutic exercise is the process of teaching animals to do activities that will strengthen their weak areas. The best rehabilitation is to find a way to get the pet to use their own muscles to move the limb as we need them to move. These exercises are extremely beneficial because we can effectively target problem muscle areas, improve balance, improve limb usage and maximize recovery without expensive equipment.  With proper guidance, many owners can do these exercises in the comfort of their own homes. In addition, therapeutic exercises gradually help animals return to the activities they are expected to perform after they are recovered.  

A few of our favorite exercises include slow walks, balancing exercises (videos: bal1 & bal2), obedience tricks (videos: sit to stand and sit to down, tunnel), obstacle work (videos: walk, rails1 & rails2), weaving, stairs/hills and land treadmills.

Every rehabilitation patient receives an extensive individualized home exercise program as part of their evaluation.  Our staff will gladly demonstrate, explain and teach each exercise to the owner so that they can effectively treat their pet in the comfort of their own home.  Our staff understands pet owner concerns of location, finance and attachment to a pet and will work hard to find an effective treatment plan that everyone is happy with.

Therapeutic Ultrasound Therapy

Ultrasound therapy can help breakdown scar tissue between tissues, relieve pain and facilitate healing.

Electrical Stimulation - video

Electrical stimulation is the use of electricity to help prevent loss of muscle tone during the healing process. The electrical stimulation device causes a weakened or paralyzed muscle to contract and can also be used to “re-educate” muscles after prolonged disuse.

Therapeutic Laser

Therapeutic laser is the use of light to stimulate accelerated healing processes.

Pulsed Signal Therapy (PST)

Pulsed Signal Therapy is a newer medical treatment used to treat osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, degenerative joint disease, rheumatoid disease, back pain and sports-type injuries in small animals. The results have been shown to be long-term.

Chronic and Geriatric care

Mobility, pain control and mental stimulation are key to keeping an older pet feeling well. The better an older pet feels, the better quality of life they have. We are happy to help you keep your pet comfortable and happy as long as we can. We are also happy to direct you to products that may help you in caring for your older pet.

Shape up pup

Changing eating habits and exercise are key to a successful weight loss plan. Let us help you get your pet fit and start a life of better choices.

Assisted Mobility Carts, Slings, splints and orthotics - video

Wheelchairs are available for weak, painful or paralyzed pets. Although we do not sell these carts directly, we are familiar with many companies and their products.  Ordering, fitting, and acclimating your pet to a wheelchair can be an overwhelming process. Our staff is skilled in assisting owners with the entire process in hopes successful transition for the pet.

We are also available to help with selection and casting for various splints, orthotics and braces as medically necessary.