Animal Physiotherapy, also known as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, is made up of several modalities all designed to enhance and restore functional ability and quality of life for our animals. It is a branch of veterinary medicine that works specifically with physical impairments or disabilities affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons. These impairments can be present due to disease or injury. Rehab is most commonly used post surgically with animals as a way to assist the body in the recovery of function and movement, but can also be used to manage impairments where the surgical approach may not be necessary or when the owner wants to take a more conservative approach. Several of the modalities may also be used as a preventative approach to potential injury by using strength and conditioning to support healthy structural balance of the body.
The modalities used in any treatment protocol are chosen for their specific effect on the disease, injury or area being treated as well as the specific goal desired from rehabilitation. Most modalities share similar benefits, but some are more effective than others for achieving specific results. Below is an overview of the most common modalities offered with their specific benefits.
Cryotherapy (Cold Therapy) The application of a cold agent to the affected area or surgical site to reduce
Acute immune response to injury or surgery
Heat Therapy The application of a heat agent to the affected area to
Decrease muscle spasm
Increase tissue elasticity
Increase blood flow
Manage chronic inflammation
Reduce muscle tension
Prepare muscles for additional work (exercises, stretchin, etc)
Passive Range of Motion (PROM) Moving joints through their available range of motion without weight bearing muscle contraction to
Prevent joint and muscle contracture
Increase blood flow and lymphatic flow
Increase joint fluid production to minimize damage to the joint
Prevent loss of range of motion at the joint
Strength and Conditioning Moving the body with exercises designed for the specific goal to
Improve strength, flexibility, balance, cardiovascular endurance and mental engagement
Increase muscle mass
Improve core muscle strength
Improve gait and range of motion
Allow the return to normal function
Hydrotherapy (Underwater Treadmill and Pool Therapy) Using the therapeutic properties of water to move the body in a reduced weight bearing environment to
Allow the animal to move and perform specific exercises with a decrease in stress and strain on the joints
Reduce swelling and edema
Improve muscle mass and strength
Improve range of motion
Increase endurance and weight loss
Cold Laser Therapy The use of a focused beam of light to
Accelerate surgical and traumatic wound healing
Reduce the formation of scar tissue
Improve nerve function and nerve regeneration
Release painful trigger points in muscles
Speed the healing of infections
Animal rehab is an important complement to traditional veterinary medicine due to its myriad of uses and benefits. It is, however, a specialty of veterinary medicine. Not all general practice vets will have knowledge of, experience with or training in animal rehab. For this reason, your vet will refer you to a veterinary professional that is certified in animal rehabilitation. The rehab professional will rely on your general practice vet to provide them with an overall health evaluation, bloodwork, radiographs and any other diagnostic testing that rules out other causes of disease that could make rehab an inappropriate or ineffective approach for your animal. Additionally, if you are seeking out rehab at the suggestion of your animal's orthopedic or neurosurgeon, the animal rehab pro will need to consult with your surgeon to get a better idea of the scope of the surgery, the anticipated recovery process and time and to be made aware of any limitations or restrictions that need to be considered when creating a rehab program for your animal.
If you are considering rehab for your animal or if you would like to discuss how and if rehab could benefit your animal, the rehab team at Canine Strong is happy to help. Please feel free to reach out to us at (603) 715-9150 or at email@example.com.
Please keep in mind that all classes, programs and services at Canine Strong are a compliment to veterinary care and are not meant to treat or diagnose. Rehab services offered at Canine Strong will require a referral from your veterinarian. We kindly ask for a minimum of 24 hours notice for all cancellations. For cancellations with less than 24 hours notice a fee of 50% of the service price will be charged.