Pet rehabilitation and physical therapy may be beneficial for your dog or cat companion if your dog or cat is healing from an illness or injury, has recently undergone surgery, or has a condition that is chronic. Today, our Stroudsburg vets will discuss the circumstances in which rehabilitation may be beneficial, as well as the advantages of receiving such treatment..

Both cats and dogs, in the case of recovering from injuries or surgical procedures, or in the case of managing chronic health conditions, can benefit from veterinary rehabilitation, which is also sometimes known as animal physical therapy.

In the past, pet owners received some fundamental pointers on how to care for their animals after they had surgery. However, we now know that additional steps can be taken to assist patients in recovering, remaining active, getting the appropriate amount of exercise, and preserving their quality of life.

When is pet rehabilitation useful?

Rehabilitation and physical therapy for felines and canines are typically recommended after surgical procedures and/or to treat musculoskeletal issues, such as injuries to the cruciate ligament or osteoarthritis. Certain types of therapy and exercise can also be beneficial for animals that are suffering from neurological conditions or weight management issues.

How can my pet benefit from physical rehabilitation?

We are able to assist in the restoration of function in a sick or injured dog through the use of canine rehabilitation and physical therapy, which incorporates a number of different treatments, including massage, electrical stimulation, heat treatment, and acupuncture, in addition to exercise and hydrotherapy.

An integrated approach may help to alleviate pain, improve the health of muscles and joints, and assist in the rehabilitation of pets following injury, illness, or surgery. Veterinarians may suggest physical therapy for dogs as an alternative to surgical procedures in certain circumstances, or as a means of stimulating the brains of senior dogs and providing them with a refreshed sense of purpose.

The physical rehabilitation activities that you do with your pet can also be a fun way to interact with them while simultaneously improving their overall health. Having said that, prior to beginning any new exercise program, you should always check in with your veterinarian for advice.

Specifically, physical rehabilitation has the potential to improve one's mobility, balance, and strength. They can also help support cardiovascular fitness and provide opportunities for your pet to engage in full-body exercises, such as swimming or training for agility courses, when they are ready.

How is pet rehabilitation performed?

Rehabilitating your pet physically can be done on its own or in conjunction with other treatments like lifestyle tools (for instance, non-slip floor coverings, acupuncture, prescription pet medications, and nutritional supplements).

The purpose is to improve the patient's quality of life by restoring their strength, flexibility, comfort, endurance, mobility, awareness of body position, and so on. A good number of these movements also contribute to the mitigation of pain and inflammation, either by reducing or preventing their occurrence.

During aquatic therapy, animals use a heated underwater treadmill system with hydro jets to improve their range of motion, endurance, and strength.

Always check with your animal hospital's therapy team or veterinarian to determine which combinations of activities are appropriate for your pet.

How long will my pet need physical therapy?

The amount of time required for your pet to complete physical therapy can change depending on a number of different factors. The nature and extent of the injury or condition, your pet's overall health and response to treatment, and the particular objectives outlined by the treating veterinarian or therapist are some of the elements that go into determining the best course of action. If you want a more accurate estimate of how long your pet may need to participate in physical therapy, it is in your best interest to consult with your veterinarian or physical therapist.

How will I know if my pet is a good candidate for physical therapy?

Consultation with a rehabilitation-trained veterinarian is essential if you want to find out whether or not it would be beneficial for your animal companion to participate in physical therapy. They will perform a comprehensive exam on your pet and evaluate its overall health as well as its medical history and any particular condition or injury they find. 

Additionally, they may suggest diagnostic tests or imaging to further evaluate your pet's musculoskeletal system and identify any underlying issues that could impact their ability to benefit from physical therapy.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes only. Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital does not offer physical rehabilitation at this time.

Do you have more questions about veterinary physical therapy? Do you think your pet might be a good candidate for physical therapy? Contact our Stroudsburg vet clinic today. We may be able to provide you with a referral.