What is rehabilitation medicine?
Veterinary rehabilitation medicine is very similar to physical therapy in human medicine. It is designed to aid pets in their recovery from illness, injury, or surgery. Rehab therapies are specifically tailored to address the medical condition or problem that your pet is experiencing. Different modalities will be used based on the needs of your canine or feline family member.
What is therapeutic exercise?
Therapeutic exercise is the backbone or the core of any rehabilitation therapy program. It is used in conjunction with other modalities to foster comfortable range of motion, to build and strengthen muscles, to improve balance and performance of daily activities, to promote weight loss, and to increase confidence. Targeted exercise also helps improve neuromuscular functioning and the patient's own sensory awareness of his or her body.
After the initial evaluation at Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine, our certified rehabilitation veterinarian will develop a session of hands-on exercises specific to your pet's condition. Exercises are performed under close supervision by our rehabilitation expert, which allows for the careful monitoring of each patient's progress. Exercises using physioballs, cavaletti rails, balance boards, trampolines, and ramps will often be part of a typical therapy session. Home exercise programs can also be developed to help with patient progress between visits.
Part of your pet's exercise session might also include the underwater treadmill to increase blood flow and loosen joints, cryotherapy to reduce inflammation, and moist heat therapy and massage to increase circulation and muscle flexibility.
Who can benefit from therapeutic exercise and rehabilitation medicine?
Although a large number of rehab patients are elderly pets and post-op patients, Pawsitive Steps has much to offer canine and feline athletes as well. Fitness programs can be developed to promote core body health and increase muscle strength. Maintaining good physical condition in the off-season can help to prevent injury, increase flexibility, and improve performance.
The health risks for obese pets are numerous: arthritis, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, ligament injury, and decreased life expectancy. At Pawsitive Steps, we want to see your beloved pet live a long and active life. Developing individual solutions to help your dog or cat lose excess weight and maintain a healthy body is part of our practice.