What is Veterinary Rehabilitation?

Veterinary rehabilitation addresses orthopedic injuries and neurologic dysfunction, arthritis, and changes associated with aging. Rehabilitation uses exercise and other modalities for pain management and to aid in return to normal gait. The goals of rehabilitation are to promote recovery from injury or surgery, provide pain management,  and to slow progression of chronic conditions.

Who can benefit from rehabilitation?

Most often, we treat pets that have been injured or are recovering from surgery. Also, aged pets benefit from rehabilitation through pain management and increased muscle strength and flexibility. Rehabilitation can help older or debilitated pets to remain more mobile and increase their quality of life.

What kind of diagnoses are treated with rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation has been shown to improve the outcome in dogs that have undergone surgery to repair cruciate ligament tears.  Rehabilitation has also been shown to allow dogs with degenerative myelopathy to remain mobile for a longer period of time.  Other indications for rehabilitation include: osteoarthritis, hip or elbow dysplasia, obesity, intervertebral disc disease, fibrocartilagenous embolus (FCE), tendinitis, and muscle strains.

What is hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is the use of water for pain relief or to treat a disease.  At See Spot Run, we have a state-of-the-art underwater treadmill.  The water is maintained at 85-90 degrees, which helps relieve stiffness in joints and muscles and improves flexibility.  The water also provides resistance, promoting muscle strength and endurance.  Finally, water has the property of buoyancy, allowing for lower impact during exercise.

Can every dog use the underwater treadmill?

Unfortunately, not all dogs can use the underwater treadmill.  If your dog is incontinent or has diarrhea, we cannot put him in the underwater treadmill.  If your dog has an underlying illness that may put your dog at risk, such as cardiac or respiratory disease or a seizure disorder, we may recommend using other treatments than underwater treadmill.

How soon after surgery can my pet start rehabilitation?

Often, pets can start rehabilitation immediately after surgery.  Rehabilitation offers pain management techniques, such as cold laser, massage, heat and cold therapy, and passive range of motion exercises.  As recovery continues, we can start more intensive exercises for strength and balance.  We will work with your surgeon and keep your surgeon and regular veterinarian informed of your pet’s progress.

How can you help my pet’s pain?

Besides medications for pain management, we have a number of modalities that can help relieve pain for your pet.  Laser helps relieve pain and inflammation.  Other modalities include massage, joint mobilizations, heat or cold therapy, stretching exercises, and dietary supplements.



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