Physical rehabilitation therapists are responsible for creating and implementing therapy plans to increase an animal’s mobility and minimize any pain they may be experiencing as a result of an injury or a chronic condition. The therapist works through the treatment plan with the dog, making adjustments as necessary to ensure that progress is being made in each session.
Physical rehabilitation for veterinary patients expedites return to normal function, pain relief, and encouragement of optimal health for patients suffering from orthopedic, neurological, and chronic diseases. Patients who benefit from rehabilitation programs range from overweight pets and those recovering from injuries and surgeries to senior pets with chronic, debilitating conditions, and agility, field trial, hunting, and service dogs.
Rehabilitation is an essential aspect of the recovery plan for small animal patients. Protocols are tailored for the individual patient based on its disorder and the goals desired from rehabilitation. All therapy sessions take patience and practice; some exercises or modalities may work better for different patients’ temperaments and specific conditions. Rehabilitation changes as the animal improve and recover; the therapists are educated about physical rehabilitation, creative and flexible with protocols, and adjust them for each situation.
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is a non-invasive procedure for the treatment of acute and chronic pain of the musculoskeletal system. ESWT uses focused sound waves directed at varying depths to provide a focused mechanical energy to stimulate components that support healing.
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is helpful in the management of acute and chronic pain in muscles, tendons, and joints. ESWT has been used in the treatment of-
At FVR we use the PiezoWave2 therapy device which DOES NOT require sedation. An individualized treatment can last between 10 and 30 minutes depending on the prescribed areas to be treated. Normally, 1 treatment per week is performed, 5-14 days apart. A total of 3-6 treatments may be necessary to achieve lasting improvement. Side effects of ESWT are limited to reddened skin and/or minor soreness in some cases which lasts 24 hours.
Animal chiropractic is the practice of using the hands or an instrument to provide a quick thrust to joints of the body. The thrust helps to restore normal motion to a joint which has segmental dysfunction, or altered movement. Chiropractic adjustments can reduce pain, increase mobility, balance neurologic function, and improve performance. Chiropractic adjustments can be performed safely on all species and a variety of sizes of animals. Animal chiropractic is a drug free way to help improve your pet’s mobility and quality of life.
The underwater treadmill (UWTM) is a unique rehabilitation modality that allows weight bearing with buoyancy and added water resistance. The patient enters the treadmill with their therapist and warmed water rises from the floor to the desired level. Once the patient is comfortable, the treadmill is started. A variety of different adjustments can be made based on the patient's condition, such as the speed, incline, and the jets- which can provide greater resistance. The UWTM allows for a safe return to function after surgery or injury to improve weight bearing, range of motion, and strength.
Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on your pet to treat a diagnosed condition. The acupoints are stimulated to balance the movement of energy (Chi) in the body to restore health. Acupuncture has become a well-known treatment used to regulate or correct the flow of energy and restore health. The fundamentals of acupuncture are based on Chinese philosophy - the Dao or Tao, Yin and Yang, the eight principles, the three measures and five elements.
Acupuncture is accepted by the American Veterinary Medical Assosication as an effective and safe treatment technique.
Electro-acupuncture applies mild specific frequency electrical current across acupuncture needles that are inserted into specific acupuncture points. The application of the current increases the effect of the acupuncture needles and stimulates nerve conduction. Electro-acupuncture is often applied in neurologic cases and to treat significant pain. It can also be applied to standard rehabilitation cases with great success.
B-12 Aqua-puncture is the injection of vitamin B-12 into specific acupuncture points. B-12 has anti-inflammatory properties which can be absorbed into the body and help with healing. Aqua-puncture can stimulate the acupuncture points for a long period of time to provide extended relief to your pup.
At FVR we use an Assisi Mat to administer PEMF during acupuncture or joint mobilizations. PEMF uses electromagnetic fields to stimulate an increased production of Nitric Oxide, which is a natural anti-inflammatory. Assisi loops or beds can also be purchased for home use as a non-pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory to help with pain management. PEMF may also be used for anxiety or cognitive dysfunction (Calmer K9).
At FVR we use a Companion therapy DUO laser, which is a class 4 laser utilizing the most advanced research and technology in photobiomodulation. Photobiomodulation (formerly known as LASER therapy) utilizes various wavelengths of light to increase the energy of the cells, thereby reducing inflammation, pain, and improving tissue repair.
Musculoskeletal ultrasound is a unique diagnostic tool that allows the veterinarian to view tendons and ligaments with greater detail. These are details that are not seen on radiographs and can be helpful in the diagnosis of soft tissue injuries. Most patients need to be shave and sedated for this exam.
The stance analyzer contains pressure sensor plates to show what percentage of body weight your pet is distributing on each limb. This diagnostic tool gives an objective assessment to track your pet’s progress through therapy. A canine patient with no orthopedic disease typically places 30% on each fore limb and 20% on each rear limb. Variations from this normal can indicate an underlying orthopedic condition. We will inquire during your pet’s recheck visits if this is something you would like to add to their visit.
Canine massage uses touch to maintain or improve both physical and emotional well-being. Massage increases circulation to improve healing, decrease pain and reduce swelling, improve joint flexibility, as well as miscellaneous benefits to the immune system.
Massage increases blood flow, which improves oxygen delivery to tissues, and breaks down scar tissue. It is very beneficial for older pets who have become stiff over many years of pain and arthritis. It can also be effective for athletic dogs to help an injury or promote fitness.
Carts can be useful assistive devices for our pets with disabilities. We are happy to help measure and fit your pet into the proper cart. We rent, sell, and adjust carts for our clients with pet’s who are in need of assistance. We work with many cart companies and can help you pick out the perfect cart for your pet.
Orthotics are helpful for patients who have an injured limb, to correct a deformity, or to encourage correct limb use. We work with a variety of orthotics companies and help you determine the proper device for your pet’s condition.
◦ Stifle braces can be desired for conservative management of cruciate tears. Prior to purchasing a stifle brace we would recommend a consult with our rehabilitation veterinarian to determine if your pet is the perfect candidate for stifle braces.