Canine Rehabilitation & ConditioningMarch 7, 2017
Can dogs benefit from Canine Rehabilitation & Conditioning?
Heck, yes they can! Dogs suffering from chronic pain, an injury, or recovering from surgery can benefit from a veterinary rehabilitation specialist.
When I graduated from Mt. Ida College in 1991, it was common practice for the surgeon to repair their knee (a CCL rupture) with surgery and then cast the leg. The Veterinarians found that when the knee healed, the muscles were weak from lack of use.
Some of the similarities include:
- Therapeutic Exercises
- Physical Modalities
- Cold or low-level laser therapy
- Therapeutic ultrasound and electrical stimulation
- Aquatic therapy
- Ferno AquaPaws Underwater Treadmill
- Manual Therapy
Who can Rehabilitation & Conditioning help?
- Arthritic dogs: the under water treadmill can make them feel young again
- Post-Operative patients: orthopedic or after neurological surgery
- Pets with neurological conditions and diseases: can help by reducing pain, managing disease progression and providing support through slings and orthopedic devices such as wheeled carts.
- Athletic Pets: gives them a conditioning edge of endurance and strength
These are the potentials of rehab to improve the lives of dogs:
- Increased rate of recovery from injury and surgery
- Improved functional abilities
- Weight loss assistance
- Pain reduction
- Increased strength and range of motion
- Performance enhancement of athletic dogs
- Improved quality of life
Canine rehabilitation specialists typically get a referral from your veterinarian. You then have your initial evaluation to tailor a program to fit your dog’s specific therapy needs. A course of rehabilitation generally consists of 3 to 6 sessions. Sessions are generally once a week, and progress is carefully documented at each visit.
Written by Elaine Ferrera, AS, CVT, CCRA