What is Animal Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy?
In dogs and cats rehabilitation, human physical therapy techniques are being adapted to suit our animals. These techniques are designed to increase function and mobility of joints and muscles in animals. Animal rehabilitation aids in reducing the pain and enhances recovery from injury, surgery, and age-related and degenerative diseases. In addition, it offers supportive therapy for obese pets.
The goal of any dogs and cats rehabilitation is to decrease pain, speed healing, and improve quality of life for pets through the many multi-discipline modalities of rehabilitation. While our use of therapy and rehabilitation is geared toward canines, techniques used in this discipline can also be applied to other animals.
The benefits of physical therapy for animals have been widely accepted in the veterinary community for many years. However, clinical practice of physical therapy for animals is a relatively new field in the Singapore. In Europe and U.S, equine and canine physical therapy have been widely recommended and used for at least the last fifteen years. In the last three to five years, the veterinary community in the U.S. has seen a large growth in physical therapy practices for animals, making it a more available resource for practicing veterinarians. This growth in the availability of canine physical therapy is forcing a change in focus in many veterinary practices from curative and palliative care to preventive care. An example of this is the push for the use of animal physical therapy for weight reduction in obese animals. Weight reduction can reduce the risk of developing many degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis and DJD.
Dogs may lose one-third of their muscle mass in the rear limb following surgery and it may take over one year to regain the lost muscle tissues.
Darryl L. Millis, MS, DVM, DACVS, DACVSMR, CCRP Professor of Orthopedic Surgery & Director of Surgical Service
Robin Downing, DVM, MS, DAAPM, DACVSMR, CVPP, CCRP
Diplomate of the American Academy of Pain Management, is a a founder and past-president of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management.
Janet B. Van Dyke, DVM
Diplomate American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, CCRT, CEO
Ludovica Dragone, DVM, CCRP
Vice President of VEPRA, Veterinary European of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Association.
Andrea L. Henderson, DVM, CCRT, CCRP
Resident, Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation
Steven M.Fox, MS, DVM, MBA, PhD
President Securos. Inc
CANINE REHABILITATION TECHNIQUES
In an animal physical therapy practice, a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist/Practitioner CCRT/CCRP usually confers with the diagnosing veterinarian on the cause and severity of an animal’s condition to develop a specialized therapy plan on a client by client basis and adjust according every single session.
Each technique used in animal physical therapy has different benefits and not all techniques are useful for every condition. Also duration/cycles/tolerance of each different abilities of the animals differs depending on medical condition , we strongly do not encourage excessive rehabilitation plan which cause fatigue.
Physical therapy for orthopedic conditions can include any combination of the following techniques: Ultrasound therapy, cryotherapy, hydrotherapy (pool or/and treadmill), muscle building exercises electrical stimulation , Muscle mass massage , Sit and Stand exercises , TENS and strengthening exercises focusing on their various muscle group when muscle atrophy is noted .
Neurological conditions generally benefit the most from propioception exercises – balance and coordination , muscle building exercises, cold laser therapy, Aquatic Treadmill, Cavaletti poles weaving, passive range of motion , muscle memory training focusing on the loss or reduced of reflexes.Surgical repairs and traumatic injuries are generally treated with Ultrasound or heat therapy after inflammation is subsided, TENS and Cryotherapy for pain and inflammation reduction, massage, Passive Range of motion exercises , NMES , and hydrotherapy (depending on condition and surgery done – Hydro pool swimming or Hydro Treadmill), strengthening and weight bearing exercises .
THE PROCESS OF CANINE REHABILITATION AND PHYSIOTHERAPY
My Dog Is Not Well
When you have discovered that you dog is not well, limping, in pain or not wanting to walk, visiting your Vet is the most logical thing to do immediately. Your family vet would be running a full image diagnostics and depending on initial evaluation done by your vet, they will be prescribing medicine to manage inflammation and pain for you.
And most vets will recommend hydrotherapy as one of the methods of rehabilitation. And this is probably how you found this website because you are looking for the best alternative plan for your pet.
Drop us an email, send a message to our What’s App hotline or even drop us a note on Facebook. Upon getting in contact with you, we will immediately find the next appointment available and we can start the rehabilitation facts gathering process. This will usually take one to three days.
During the assessment, our therapist will be asking some questions that can aid us in understanding more about the home condition, diet, medicine, pre-existing conditions and your pet’s character. Your pet’s vitals will be taken during the assessment. A full ortheopedic assessment document will be done. During the assessment, we will be documenting the discomfort area and locations to aid us in deciding what is the appropriate therapy for them.
The final part of the assessment will include measuring all the size of their muscles, weight and they will be place on a specially designed pressure mat to measure the weight bearing on all the four limps.
After your initial visit, we will gather all medical histories of your pet from the different MDT (Multi-discipline Team), they may consists of veterinarians, TCM practitioners, pet massage practitioners or anyone who is involved in the well being of your pet. Once we have obtained all necessary information, our team of rehabilitation veterinarians and physiotherapists will design a plan suited for your pet.
Planning & Rehabilitation Phase
Depending on the condition of your pet, the initial rehabilitation and physiotherapy phase can either be twice or thrice a week. And if your pet has lost a significant of muscle mass after operation, it might be more often.
An improvement in your pet’s condition should be seen after the first ten sessions.
Plan, Plan and Replan
After each successful period of rehabilitation, we will reassess your pet for their improvement. With each assessment, the rehabilitation and physiotherapy plan changes in accordance to the physical health of your pet.
We will send our findings back to your vet so that they can follow what your pet has been doing as well.