Animal Rehab & Fitness Center Services
Rehabilitation can significantly accelerate your pet’s recovery and improve his/her quality of life. Animal Rehab & Fitness Center’s rehabilitation area is equipped with an overhead lift system to help facilitate physical therapy sessions on our larger, non-ambulatory patients. Our rehabilitation and fitness services are designed to provide your pet with a combination of at-home exercise and on-site rehabilitation including:
- Sports medicine and conditioning programs
- Therapeutic exercises
- Low level laser therapy
- Therapeutic ultrasound
- Electrical stimulation
- Underwater treadmill
- Land treadmill
- Custom orthotics
Sports Medicine and Conditioning Programs
We offer sports medicine and conditioning programs, including treadmills and therapeutic exercises (detailed below), specifically for active or competitive pets. Healthy pets can benefit from conditioning techniques that can help maintain ideal body weight and improve core stability, thus reducing the risk of soft tissue injuries, back injuries, and development of joint pain. Sporting and competitive dogs can enhance their fitness, core strength, and flexibility needed to perform optimally in their discipline and reduce the risk of injury.
We offer several therapeutic exercises, including massages, stretching, and other exercises, to stimulate muscles and joints. As a result, pets can experience an improvement in balance, proprioception, strength, and range of motion. Our doctors can perform these exercises in our clinic, but can develop a home exercise program as well so you can work with your pet during your own time.
Low Level Laser Therapy
Also known as “cold laser,” this non-invasive therapy increases circulation and cellular metabolism for tissue healing and provides analgesic effects for pain relief. Laser therapy is most commonly used for the treatment of tendon and ligament injuries; joint disease such as degenerative osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia; post-operative pain relief; and wound healing.
Therapeutic ultrasound utilizes high frequency sound energy to produce biological effects on a given tissue through thermal and non-thermal effects. Therapeutic ultrasound can assist in healing by increasing blood flow to a region, reduction of scar tissue in chronic conditions, and reduction of pain. It is often used on chronic tendinopathies such as biceps tenosynovitis and muscle strains.
Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) is used to address muscular weakness and prevent disuse atrophy that is a common occurrence in post-operative situations as well as chronic conditions. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is more commonly used to address acute pain. TENS stimulates superficial sensory nerves, which is believed to cause short-term pain perception inhibition.
Walking on our underwater treadmill can be beneficial for pets with weakness, arthritis, problems with coordination, those recovering from recent surgery, as well as for fitness and weight loss. Hydrotherapy can improve strength, range of motion, balance, coordination, postural awareness, and endurance.
Dogs recovering from disc surgery that are unable to ambulate on land will often walk in the water. Dogs recovering from orthopedic surgery will often use the operated limb in the water earlier than they do on land. The water provides a supportive medium that allows us to work on restoring a normal gait with low impact on joints. The water level and speed of the treadmill can be adjusted based on the amount of support needed for each individual patient. We also utilize underwater jets that provide resistance for stronger dogs, or a massage after a session.
Our land treadmill can be used for a variety of conditions requiring gait retraining, as well as certain conditions that may benefit from incline or decline walking. It is also used for fitness conditioning to work on endurance.
Acupuncture has been for thousands of years in China to treat humans and animals. It utilizes very fine, sterile, stainless steel needles inserted into specific points to stimulate a physiological response. Acupuncture can stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasms, and cause the release of endorphins (one of the body’s pain control chemicals) and cortisol (a natural steroid). This alternative treatment option is commonly used for pain relief in musculoskeletal conditions and for improving neurologic recovery. It may also be used in sports medicine for optimization of endurance and performance.
For older pets and those needing assistance getting around, we offer custom orthotics, prosthetics, and canine wheel chairs.