What is rehab?
After decades of treating patients with mobility issues related to postsurgical repair and muscular, neurologic and skeletal issues related to disease or injury, I realized there was a huge gap in the care I could provide my patients. Traditional pharmaceutical intervention provided part of the answer but I knew there had to be a more fundamental approach that could benefit my patients. I pursued further education in canine and feline rehabilitation (physical therapy) with the Canine Rehab Institute through the Colorado State University and earned my diploma as a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist (CCRT). I quickly realized that including physical therapy as a treatment modality for both dogs and cats is an essential and rewarding part of a holistic approach to treating and healing my patients. Using a variety of tissue healing modalities, skilled manual therapy techniques and therapeutic exercise, my patients can regain mobility, have reduced pain and achieve better quality of life. The most rewarding aspect for me has been not only the improved physical health of my patients but also their improved emotional health as well. It is exciting to see animals eager and happy to come into the clinic for treatments. It also helps to validate that what we are doing is truly improving their quality of life.
Enhancement of the human-animal bond is a huge driver in my desire to improve mobility in my patients. Whether your goal is to get back hiking on the trails with your dog or getting back in the show ring with your equine athlete, we are here to help.
After an initial assessment, a rehab plan is developed specifically for your pet. When an animal is disabled, as a result of injury or disease, not only does the primary problem need to be addressed but also all the compensatory adaptation that has developed in the joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. We can all relate to this I think. Have you ever injured your knee and after a period of time compensating for the dysfunction you have a sore back and tight muscles as well? The same is true for our pets. Our physical therapy approach serves to treat the whole animal. The patients are reassessed every visit and treatments adjusted to accommodate the needs of the pet. I believe in a hands-on approach ( no pun intended!) so I personally reassess patients on each visit and will devise a plan for that day.
When we start therapeutic and strengthening exercise it can be very tiring. We often do multiple sets of exercises with rest breaks in between so treatments from start to finish often take a few hours. To facilitate this, we ask that your leave your pet with us for the morning or even the day if that better fits your schedule. All pets are provided with comfortable housing and a lunch time walk at no extra charge.
What a treatment might include:
- Laser therapy- to treat pain and inflammation
- TENS therapy- for deep muscle pain control
- Joint mobilizations- similar to chiropractic but the joints are moved more slowly with less thrust – this helps to reduce pain, improve joint range of motion and stimulate joint lubrication
- Soft tissue techniques such as massage, myofascial release, trigger point treatments
- Stretch and active range of motion exercise to improve mobility and reduce muscle tension
- Therapeutic and neuromuscular exercise- a variety of static and active exercises your pet will learn to love! These will help to improve strength, coordination and mobility and always come with treats and lots of reward!
Not all our patients are dogs! Cats with osteoarthritis and joint dysfunction can benefit too, although exercise training can be more challenging!
We provide services for our own clients and take referrals from other clinics as well. If you are coming from another clinic, we will provide feedback to your regular veterinarian and be in contact with them if other diagnostics or pharmaceutical treatments are recommended.
Conditions Amenable To Rehabilitation
- Postoperative orthopedic surgery rehab – such as surgery to repair fractures, cruciate ligament rupture, patella luxation, shoulder OCD etc
- Post-surgical rehab for intervertebral disc surgery and disease
- non- surgical cruciate ligament and luxating patellainjury
- Muscle, tendon and ligament injury
- Medial Shoulder Instability
- Degenerative neurologic disease such as Degenerative Myelopathy
- ….. and lots more