Rehabilitation therapy is the diagnosis and treatment for pets with injuries or ailments causing pain or changes in functional mobility. Rehabilitation therapy is most commonly used to help patients recover after surgery, manage neurological conditions, and treat orthopedic injuries and diseases. Rehabilitation therapy is usually performed by a team that can consist of veterinarians, technicians, and physical therapists.
Over the last few decades, there has been a large shift in human-animal bond and how people perceive their pets. More and more people consider their animals as part of the family, and with that shift in perception people are more interested in doing whatever they can to keep their pets healthy and happy. Just as human patients benefit from physical therapy, so do our animal patients show improved recovery as well as better function and mobility in their golden years with rehabilitation therapy.
Laser therapy is a great rehab tool for pain and improved healing, plus you get to wear stylish goggles!
Horse people have known this for years. Many of the therapies we are doing now on humans and in companion animals have already been in practice for years, even decades. Many rehabilitation techniques were initially performed to help our sport horses recover from injury and more quickly return to the track or competition ring. For example, platelet-rich plasma injections have been relatively common in the last several years in horses, but only in the last few years has it become more commonplace in small animal practices. Now, a growing number of veterinarians are finding that rehabilitation therapy can help their patients with improved recovery and decreased pain, and owners as a whole are becoming more interested in helping their dogs heal faster and feel better.
Rehab is great for all sorts of pets:
*Seniors pets with arthritis or mobility issues
*Pets recovering from orthopedic surgery (such as fracture repair or CCL repair)
*Pets with neurological issues or after surgery (such as for intervertebral disc disease)
*Pets with sprains and soft tissue injuries
*Working or sporting animals working to improve conditioning
This pup is working on balance and strength with Nicole, our rehabilitation technician
Rehabilitation therapy is not a one-stop shop, nor is it a “magic pill”. Like physical therapy in people, rehabilitation therapy is a multimodal treatment approach that includes many aspects of management. Treatments include manual therapy such as massage, stretching and therapeutic exercises Treatments may also include modalities such as laser therapy, E-stim, acupuncture, water or land treadmill exercise. Regenerative treatments such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections can also be used. Rehab therapists will often work with your family veterinarian or specialist to work on diagnostics and treatment plans for your pet. It’s important to be mindful that rehabilitation therapy is not always something to replace surgery or medication. While some animals can recover with rehabilitation therapy alone, other times rehabilitation is used WITH surgery, medications, etc to create a complete treatment plan for your pet.
Feel free to check out our page or more info on rehabilitation therapy treatment options!
If you feel like rehabilitation therapy is a good fit for your pet, then please feel free to contact us to set up a consultation.