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Canine Rehabilitation


Have a question about Canine Rehabilitation?  We have put together the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions below. 

  • What is Physical Rehabilitation?
    Physical rehabilitation is the diagnosis and management of patients with painful or functionally limiting conditions, particularly those with injury or illness related to the neurologic and musculoskeletal systems. The goal of rehabilitation is to achieve the highest level of function, independence and quality of life possible for the patient. Veterinarians provide leadership to a rehabilitative team that can consist of physical therapists, technicians and rehabilitation therapists. They will work closely with your pet's primary care and specialty veterinarians. Your veterinarian can prescribe pain medications and nutritional support if needed. They will also prescribe a treatment program including additional therapies (see Rehab Therapies) that is specifically designed to meet your pet's needs. This multimodal approach provides greater opportunity for a successful outcome. For more information please visit The American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians web page
  • What kinds of therapies do you offer?
    We offer comprehensive services including aquatic therapy (Underwater treadmill) with relaxing jets, land treadmill, therapeutic Laser (Photobiomodulation), Shockwave therapy (Soundwaves), pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, electrical stimulation, manual therapy and bodywork and therapeutic exercises. Please visit our service's page and click on our various services to learn more.
  • What should I expect at the first evaluation?
    During your pet’s rehabilitation and pain management experience, several modalities and treatment options will be recommended to optimize a successful outcome. During the initial physical rehabilitation evaluation our rehabilitation specialist will obtain current joint angles and muscle mass measurements, evaluate your pets gait, movement and disability level, and determine pain scores. We will discuss your pet’s environment and any challenges they may have, nutritional needs, current and past medications or supplements and goals you may have for your pet. Based on the comprehensive evaluation, we will prescribe a therapeutic plan to optimize your pets recovery or maintenance of the condition being treated. Plans will include a multi-modal approach including an individualized home exercise program for you to carry out at home. After several weeks, we will re-evaluate your pet to determine if the program needs improvement and a more long-term plan is developed.
  • When should I expect results?
    Each pet is different in how they respond to a therapeutic program with chronic conditions like arthritis typically needing 4-6 visits. Acute conditions like a post-operative surgical p atient may respond sooner simply because the injury has not been present for a long time and the dog has not developed significant muscle or joint motion losses. Just like us when we exercise, it is important to keep up on the program regularly to achieve and maintain results. After every visit we will request you to observe your pet for 24-72 hours for any fatigue, soreness, or pain. This information helps us optimize your pets program and results!
  • How long does a hydrotherapy session last?
    We determine the best walking time based on current activity levels and therapeutic goals. Depending on the strength of your dog, a session can last up to 45 minutes for the first time. It is important to note that the entire session is not walking for 45 minutes and includes getting your pet “dressed” for exercising in a harness, filling water to an appropriate depth, exercising, draining water at the end of the session, then drying off! Walking times are generally broken down into repetitions and duration with multiple rest periods.
  • My pet hates water or is nervous at the vet, how do you approach this situation?"
    The majority of pets have never experienced aquatic therapy using an underwater treadmill. Almost all of them have experienced a bath though! We take great care to accommodate emotional health needs, especially their first time, by using cooperative veterinary care strategies to make their first experience a positive one. By using food luring, motivational tools, going slow and a lot of encouragement even the most nervous pets do well once they feel the warm water soothing sore joints. After a few sessions they will be standing at the car door looking forward to their regular session with us!
  • I have pet insurance, how do I know if rehab is covered?"
    Please click here to reference the AARV Pet Insurance Summary PDF You can also find and download this PDF at:
Canine FAQ Content
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