When a pet suffers and injury or is recovering from surgery, the healing process can be long and difficult. Additionally, senior and geriatric pets can often benefit from controlled and carefully monitored exercise when their mobility is impaired or compromised. Rehabilitative therapies are an essential part of recovery, and numerous veterinary studies have cited their tremendous benefits:
- Improved function of affected limb(s)
- More complete healing
- Decreased pain
- Increased muscle tone and endurance
- Increased range of motion in affected limb(s)
- Faster recovery
- Great exercise and stimulation for dogs that are otherwise under very strict exercise restrictions
- Ideal gentle exercise for older dogs
Our rehabilitation programs include a combination of therapies to maximize recovery. You can learn more about the individual treatments offered below!
Underwater Treadmill Therapy
Treadmill therapy is beneficial as it’s low-impact, high-resistance exercise. The buoyancy in the treadmill alleviates about 60% of your dog’s body weight, which reduces stress on joints, minimizes pain and allows for better range of motion. The gentle compression applied the surrounding water can reduce inflammation and stabilize joints. The water temperature is between 85-95 degrees, so it relaxes muscles and improves circulation. Because of the resistance created by the water, regular use results in a rapid increase is muscle mass!
Treadmill therapy is superior to standard swimming exercises because it actively engages all four limbs. When swimming, many dogs will rely on their front limbs to stay afloat and only occasionally kick their hind limbs. The action of walking on the treadmill requires all four legs to move, and this ensures your dog will achieve more overall benefit.
Massage therapy is a great way to decrease inflammation and pain associated with injury and/or age!
Balance Board Conditioning
We use a specialized balance board to increase lateral and medial (side-to-side) support provided by your dog’s joints. This exercise can improve their balance and encourage dogs to use affected limbs. The board is large and textured, with an adjustable fulcrum to modify the amount of movement needed. With the assistance of a trained staff member, your dog is placed on the board for a few minutes at a time when deemed appropriate in the rehabilitation process.
Therapeutic Ultrasound Therapy
Ultrasound therapy is a low intensity treatment that uses high frequency sound waves to speed healing of injured joints, muscles and connective tissue. The waves have a warming effect which reduces chronic inflammation and promotes healing. The treatment is applied via a headed wand; ultrasound gel is applied to the skin to reduce friction and aid in the transmission of the ultrasonic waves. The treatment typically lasts between 10-15 minutes, and is done before any rehabilitation exercises.