Physical Rehabilitation for Pets By: Kelly, CVT
Orthopedic and muscle injuries are not easily fixed. Both take time to heal and generally need a good deal of physical rehabilitation. When a human breaks a bone or tears a muscle, quite often a doctor will recommend physical therapy to improve joint function, range of motion, and muscle strength.
Our veterinary team here at Carver Lake Veterinary Center feels the same way about our animal friends. We want them to recover from orthopedic and muscle
injuries in the same manner.
Last summer my English Setter "Lenny" had a major surgery. While he recovered I experienced 1st hand canine rehabilitation. Along with range of motion, strengthening, and endurance activities, Lenny also worked with a canine massage therapist.
I can't express just how important this rehab is to the healing process. Lenny went from a lame, depressed animal, to a strong active beast!
Rehab isn't limited to postoperative care. Canine athletes use these techniques to condition their bodies for competition. Animals that experience chronic pain, especially arthritis, can benefit from range of motion activities to help them lead more active, happy lives. Even our feline friends can benefit from, and even tolerate rehabilitation.
There are many kinds of therapy being used today; functional/strength training, passive and active range of motion, aquatic exercises, therapeutic ultrasound, and laser therapies. Aquatic therapy has become quite popular for strength and range of motion rehab. The water seems to make movement effortless so the dogs get a good work out without feeling pressure on their joints.
Physical rehab is a relatively new service for our animal friends. If you are interested in learning more about rehab for your pet please call our clinic. We would be happy to demonstrate proper exercises or help you find a local professional with specific knowledge and training in rehabilitation.
Whether your pet is recovering from orthopedic surgery, or is suffering from chronic pain, physical therapy can give your companion a jump start on a active life again.