Canine Rehabilitation & Conditioning

Written on March 07, 2017 by Staff Veterinarian

Can dogs benefit from Canine Rehabilitation & Conditioning?

Heck yes they can! Dogs suffering from chronic pain, an injury, or recovering from surgery can benefit from a veterinary rehabilitation specialist. elaine

When I graduated from Mt. Ida College in 1991, it was common practice for the surgeon to repair their knee (a CCL rupture) with surgery, and then cast the leg. The Veterinarians found that when the knee healed the muscles were weak from lack of use.

When I came to Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital in 2003, I started working with surgeon Lisa Corti, DVM, DACVS, CCRP. Dr Corti helped bring the fast growing, fairly young specialty, Canine Rehabilitation and Conditioning, to Mass Vet. Veterinary rehabilitation uses many of the same modalities and techniques for animals as physical therapy does for humans. The two are similar in many ways.

Some of the similarities include: elain 2

  • Therapeutic Exercises
  • Physical modalities
  • Cold or low level laser therapy
  • Therapeutic ultrasound and electrical stimulation
  • Aquatic therapy
  • Ferno AquaPaws Underwater Treadmill
  • Manual Therapy

Who can Rehabilitation & Conditioning help?

  • Arthritic dogs- the under water treadmill can make them feel young again
  • Post-Operative- orthopedic or after neurological surgery
  • Neurological pets- can help them walk again
  • Athletes- Gives them a conditioning edge of endurance and strength

These are the potentials of rehab to improve the lives of dogs:

  • Increase rate of recovery from injury and surgery
  • Improved functional abilities
  • Weight loss assistance
  • Pain reduction
  • Increased strength and range of motion
  • Performance enhancement of athletic dogs
  • Improved quality of life

Canine rehabilitation specialists typically get a referral from your Veterinarian, which is sent to us at Mass Vet. You then have your initial evaluation to tailor a program to fit your dog’s specific therapy needs. A course of rehabilitation generally consists of 3 to 6 sessions. Sessions are generally once a week and progress is carefully documented at each visit.

With determination, dedication, and perseverance the Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Department at Mass Vet can really make a difference in your pets’ quality of life!

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