Pet rehabilitation.

Anyone who has ever experienced a major injury or surgery can attest to how vital rehabilitation therapy is in the recovery process. It is only in recent years, however, that we have begun to recognize how important this type of therapy can be in our veterinary patients. 

Physical therapy has tremendous benefits for pets with injuries and aging joints. A wide variety of modalities are used in order to relieve pain, increase healing, and overall provide a better quality of life for our beloved pets.

What Is Veterinary Rehabilitation?

Veterinary rehabilitation consists of various techniques used with the goals of treating injury or disease, decreasing pain, improving function, and speeding healing. Decreasing inflammation and muscle spasms and increasing strength is often a large component of this. The techniques and goals of pet rehabilitation therapy are very similar to those of physical therapy in people. 

A veterinarian who has been trained in veterinary rehabilitation understands the relationships between muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and nerves within the body. This allows them to work with the pet to encourage healing and pain relief. 

Rehab veterinarians undergo extensive training that requires many hours of education and hands-on experience. After this is complete, they then earn a certification (CCRT or CCRP). Veterinary technicians can also earn their certification in veterinary rehabilitation and work under a veterinarian with similar training. 

Pet Rehabilitation Services

Just as with any other medical issue, a pet needing rehabilitation is examined. We then construct a treatment plan with the individual pet and owner’s needs in mind. A veterinary rehabilitation plan often has several components.

Commonly prescribed pet rehabilitation services might include:

  • Therapeutic massage
  • Laser therapy
  • Pet rehabilitation exercises and stretches
  • Underwater treadmill sessions
  • Therapeutic ultrasound

Often combining these treatment modalities can help to achieve a larger goal. Therapeutic exercise helps to retrain and strengthen muscles while laser therapy and/or massage might help to stimulate healing and decrease inflammation. 

Which Pets Can Benefit?

Pet rehabilitation therapy can be beneficial to many types of patients. Any pet with orthopedic diseases or injuries can potentially benefit. Reasons we commonly institute a rehab program for a pet include:

  • Recovery after surgery
  • Healing after a bone fracture or other injury
  • Back problems
  • Management of arthritis
  • Neurological problems
  • Weight management

Many pets can benefit from these techniques. Just as humans often utilize a physical therapist after an injury or surgery, so should our pets. Veterinary rehabilitation can help to relieve pain and discomfort as well as regain or maintain strength. It can also be extremely helpful in keeping our pets functional and comfortable as they age

Referral to a pet rehabilitation center such as Veterinary and Rehabilitation Center of Cape Elizabeth can be a great start in helping your beloved pet put their best paw forward. Let us know if you would like more information. We are happy to help.