Rehabilitation Treatment Approaches

Our treatments are similar to those used in human physical therapy

Aquatic Therapy

Any type of aquatic therapy is immensely beneficial to all types of pets with all types of conditions.  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. Jet massage is also helpful; like a big Jacuzzi for dogs with pain or edema. The safe cushion of the water allows for early walking in more patients just after surgery. Exercising overweight patients in water is more strenuous than on land.  The resistance of the water can also add an additional challenge to the conditioning of athletic or working pets. Regardless of the condition, most patients are able to exercise longer and more safely in the water.

Land Treadmill Exercise and Acclimation

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. Hypothermia is often performed after exercises to help calm muscles and nerves.

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. Localized heat is also used to prepare for rehabilitation exercises that immediately follow.

Soft Tissue Massage

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. Watch demonstrations of fore limb and hind limb massage.

Passive Range of Motion (PROM) Exercises

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

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, obedience tricks, obstacle work, 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 at 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

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

Electrical Simulation

Electrical stimulation is performed by trained professionals 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.

Pulsed Signal Therapy (PST)

Pulsed Signal Therapy (PST) 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. PST consists of pulsed signals that mimic the normal healthy physiological signals, transmitted into the joint to promote the repair of damaged cells and to stimulate the repair and maintenance processes. PST focuses on the cause of the symptoms: the breakdown of cartilage and joint tissue. Pain and swelling can occur when the cartilage wears due to degenerative joint disease, overuse, or injury. PST reproduces the bio-physically correct restoration signal and directs it into the joint, stimulating the existing cartilage and other damaged structures to repair themselves and therefore function more efficiently, thus accelerating the convalescent period and restoring the joint’s function.

Therapeutic Laser

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

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

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 of a successful transition for the pet. We are also available to help with selection and casting for various splints, orthotics, and braces as medically necessary.