Physical therapy as a treatment modality was first established after injured soldiers returned from World War I. It wasn’t applied to animals until the 1960s, when sporting horses required medical intervention and support due to exertion, strain, and injury. About 20 years later, the practice of canine rehabilitation began to grow in Europe. In 1996, the American Veterinary Medical Association added “veterinary physical therapy” to its guidelines, and programs for pets have been established ever since at numerous veterinary colleges.
Canine rehabilitation can be a huge part of a dog’s life, and we’re proud to offer our services to the Charlotte community. But how exactly does it work?
How Your Dog Could Benefit
Physical therapy, or PT, is an exercise practice centered on treating or curing physical ailments. Through movement and stretching, PT helps human patients get back to the way they felt prior to illness or injury.
Canine rehabilitation is similar to human PT. Each patient’s unique treatment program focuses on the relationships between their muscles, bones, nerves, tendons, and ligaments in order to reduce pain and increase function.
Reconditioning injured or unhealthy body tissues is a process, and post-surgery cases, injury, or diagnosed medical conditions can be greatly impacted by the regimen.
Canine rehabilitation can benefit the following diagnoses:
- Hip dysplasia
- Spinal injury
- Geriatric hind limb weakness
- Soft tissue injury
- Joint replacement
- Patellar luxation
- Shoulder instability
- Neurological conditions
Taking into account the primary issue or injury, we assess how the body moves and functions. We want to ensure that our treatment plan is centered on the injury, and doesn’t create problems elsewhere in the body.
Understanding a dog’s structure, physiology, and psychology is paramount to this practice that rebalances the whole body.
The Big Picture
We work toward developing a treatment plan that involves close consideration of a dog’s medical history and present health concerns. Whether they’re recovering from surgery or suffering from a degenerative disease, we incorporate various therapies, such as:
- Massage therapy
- Cold or heat therapy
- Therapeutic ultrasound
- Therapeutic exercises
- Underwater treadmill (easier on the joints and helps build muscle)
- Laser therapy
- Neuromuscular electrical stimulation
When these techniques are applied correctly, canine rehabilitation patients get relief from pain, stiffness, immobility, and more. Additionally, these modalities can improve function and quality of life. Canine rehabilitation can also help dogs lose weight, gain muscle, improve neurologic function, and increase strength.
If we can assist you with additional questions about canine rehabilitation, our veterinarians and staff members