Recovering from surgery or injury can be a long, difficult road – even for our pets. Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Care offers comprehensive companion animal rehabilitation services to help get your loved one back on his or her feet again. Our staff is trained in utilizing a wide range of proven techniques that are designed to reduce pain, restore full range of motion and speed the recovery process.

The goal of physical rehabilitation is not only to restore the natural function to your pet, but to attempt to bring them back to the condition they were in prior to the surgery or injury. Our rehabilitation services utilize a wide variety of methods and technologies to help our patients feel more like themselves again.

In many cases, the pet needs to rebuild strength in muscles that have become weakened from lack of use. In situations like this, carefully controlled exercises under the guidance of a trained professional can help the animal make great strides. Pets can learn to use a treadmill or even use balance balls and wobble boards to help strengthen those deconditioned muscles.

By far one of the most popular therapies for pets is the underwater treadmill. These devices are especially helpful for overweight or older animals that have difficulty with mobility and the impact that traditional exercise can have on the body. The buoyancy of the water helps to lessen the weight bearing impact on the joints and make it easier for the pet to build up strength and endurance. Similarly, hydrotherapy and swimming are also popular rehabilitation options.

In addition to water therapy, we also offer a number of other popular physical therapy modalities which use heat and cold that is strategically delivered to the affected tissues. Oftentimes, something as simple as applying a heat pack can increase blood flow and help improve range of motion in that area. After a therapy session cold packs can be used to minimize inflammation.

Other common therapies we use to assist our patients in their physical rehabilitation needs include coordination exercises, such as weaving through cones or walking over hurdles; strength building routines, like uphill or downhill walking (often on a treadmill); as well as medical massage, trigger point release and passive range of motion exercises. Therapeutic ultrasound and low-level lasers are both used to deliver heat deep into the tissues. Finally, along with medications, electrical nerve stimulation can also be used to block or ease pain.

It’s important to note that rehabilitation in animals is very specialized. There are required certifications for both dogs and cats, and any therapies applied should always be performed or overseen by a licensed veterinarian. Physical rehabilitation done by someone who does not understand the subtle signs of animal pain or have a global view of veterinary medicine can actually do much more harm than good.

We will work with you and your pet to develop a customized treatment plan that is tailored specifically to your companion’s unique needs so that we can achieve optimum results. Additionally, we will also provide advice and guidance for certain therapies and techniques that you can apply at home to further improve your pet’s progress.

If your four legged family member has recently undergone surgery or suffered an injury, call us today to find out if he or she would benefit from our professional rehabilitation services.

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