Rehabilitation Therapy involves the use of various modalities to treat, heal and prevent injuries and disabilities in your pet. Our overriding aim is for your pet to achieve the highest level of function, independence and quality of life.
The process of Rehabilitation Therapy should be an active one on the part of both the guardian and their pet.
It should ideally be a daily commitment that requires you to work under the guidance of with our rehabilitation therapist to exercise your petsafely while aiming for a slow but steady improvement. Although rates of improvement can vary and will be dependent problem, your hard work and patience will often produce quite dramatic results.
SERVICE NOTE (Winter 2023): Our Rehabilitation Therapy Department is not accepting external referrals at this time due to current caseloads.Read more
Benefits of physical rehabilitation program
Taking part in a physical rehabilitation program has been shown to:
- Improve muscle mass and prevent muscle atrophy
- Improve muscle endurance
- Improve joint function and range of motion
- Increase joint stability
- Improve weight bearing
- Reduce the progression of osteoarthritis
- Reduce the need for pain medication
- Reduce pain and swelling
- Improve cardio respiratory endurance
You can therefore see how physical rehabilitation can accelerate your pet’s recovery and help to ensure the best long-term prognosis.
- Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation
- Laser therapy
- Cryotherapy & Thermotherapy
- Therapeutic Exercises
It is the physical properties of the water itself that makes hydrotherapy such a safe and effective treatment. The buoyancy of the water reduces the amount of weight-bearing on painful joints while the resistance and viscosity of the water helps to support and strengthen. The the warmth of the water also increases flexibility, mobility and blood flow to promote healing of joints and tissues.
When hydrotherapy is applied in the form of an underwater treadmill it provides for a controlled, comfortable and safe exercise environment for patients recovering from soft tissue injuries, surgery (both orthopaedic and neurological) and for patients with osteoarthritis.
Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES)
Uses low or medium frequency electrical current in order to stimulate sensory and motor nerves and facilitate a muscle contraction NMES is used to stimulate and strengthen muscles after surgery, injury or disease.
Trans-cutaneous Electrical Stimulation (TENS)
Is much like NMES, only it utilizes a different electrical frequency in order to provide pain relief following surgery, or ligamentous sprains and for spinal or chronic musculoskeletal pain.
Uses low level laser energy to cause biostimulation of the targeted tissues. The laser penetrates deep into the tissues to influence cellular chemistry in a variety of beneficial ways. Laser therapy helps to reduce pain and inflammation and to speed healing of tissues. Research has shown that Laser therapy may be effective in treating the following conditions:
- Soft Tissue injuries – i.e. sprains, strains, tendonitis, bursitis and capsulitis
- Acute and Chronic Joint problems – i.e. arthritic disorders, and ligament & tendon injuries
- Acute Pain & inflammation – i.e. post surgery or injury and gross edema
- Chronic Pain – i.e. back & neck pain, neuralgia, and muscle contractures
- Tissue Healing – i.e. non union fractures, skin lesions and wounds
The application of heat to a targeted area to decrease pain, decrease muscle spasm, increase circulation, facilitate tissue healing and prepare stiff tissues for exercise.
The application of cold to a targeted area in order to decrease pain and inflammation and to reduce swelling.
Pulsed Magnetic Field Therapy
The mechanism of action of this therapy is not known for certain but it has been shown to affect both tissue microcirculation and the levels of inflammatory substances produced by white blood cells. It is effective for bone and wound repair and for pain and edema reduction. There is also some evidence that it is of value in patients with arthritic joints and for soft tissue problems, such as muscle spasm and tightness.
It is the physical properties of the water itself that makes hydrotherapy such a safe and effective treatment. The buoyancy of the water reduces the amount of weight bearing on painful joints while the resistance & viscosity of the water helps to support and strengthen and finally the warm water increases flexibility, mobility and blood flow to promote healing of joints and tissues.
The underwater treadmill provides a controlled, comfortable and safe exercise environment for patients recovering from soft tissue injuries, surgery (both orthopaedic and neurological) and patients with osteoarthritis.
Exercise is the cornerstone of any rehabilitation program. A specific and regular physical therapy and exercise program helps to reduce pain associated with arthritic and musculoskeletal conditions and seems to improve recovery of dogs that have suffered a spinal cord stroke.
Manual Therapy and Massage
The therapist applies passive or active movement techniques for the management of pain and dysfunction in the articular, neural and muscular systems. Research in both human and animal studies has provided evidence of the effectiveness of manual therapies for pain relief and for an improvement in function following injury or surgery.
When is Rehabilitation Therapy effective?
- Post-surgical recovery from neurological conditions (i.e. disc herniation, spinal cord stroke or spinal cord trauma)
- Post-surgical recover for orthopedic conditions (i.e. cruciate ligament repair, fracture repair, joint reconstruction or replacement)
- Recovery from acute joint or soft tissue injuries
- Ongoing care of chronic degenerative diseases (i.e. osteoarthritis)
- General fitness and weight loss
- Building muscle strength and endurance for sport