In truth, the pet rehabilitation for our beloved pets is very similar to that of people. However, it is adjusted slightly as their anatomy has key differences and their bones, joints, muscles, and tendons are stressed in different ways. With this in mind, all rehabilitation programs should be developed by professionals in the veterinarian industry who know exactly how to meet your pet’s needs.
After a injury and the resulting surgery, one of the most important factors is controlled activity and rest. This being said, muscle atrophy will occur with no exercise at all so structured activity can be an important step in the recovery process. For this reason, it is often suggested that pets attend pet rehabilitation therapy after surgery. Why?
- Improves balance and coordination
- Decreases the potential of back pain
- Strengthens tissue
- Promotes early weight bearing
- Promotes a faster return to full function
- Reverses any muscle atrophy
- Allows for mental stimulation
- Helps with weight loss (if necessary)
- Helps owner with a program for home
Ultimately, this therapy can help pets of all injuries but they are especially useful in orthopaedic cases including OCD procedures, elbow or cruciate injuries, and hip surgeries. Furthermore, those that have had an amputation, concurrent pain management assistance, IVDD, nerve sheath tumor surgeries. Finally, all soft tissue cases should also be considered such as degloving injuries, wound care, or mass removal of tissues.
Goal – With therapy, there are three main goals to keep in mind;
- Increase the range of motion
- Remove (or at least decrease) any discomfort
- Strengthen the muscles back to full working order
Thanks to years of research, we now know that all pets are unique and therefore all pet rehabilitation programs need to follow this. With each pet, the main problems and needs will be discovered before creating an individual therapy program. Depending on the circumstances, this might involve acoustic compression therapy, electrical stimulation, laser therapy, underwater treadmill, swimming, therapeutic ultrasound, acupuncture, veterinary spinal manipulation, massage, and a combination of effective exercises. As long as the right program is chosen for your pet, they will be back on their feet again in no time!