Physical Therapy for Dogs and Cats

What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy offers numerous benefits for dogs and cats, addressing various health concerns and enhancing their quality of life. By promoting healing, reducing pain, and improving mobility, it allows pets to enjoy their daily activities with ease. Furthermore, physical therapy helps manage chronic conditions like arthritis, supports post-surgical recovery, and aids in weight management for overweight pets. Senior pets also benefit from therapy, as it maintains their comfort and mobility as they age. Overall, physical therapy fosters a happier, healthier life for your beloved furry companions.

What are the benefits of manual therapy?

Physical therapy for dogs and cats offers numerous benefits that can greatly improve their overall health, mobility, and quality of life. At RehabVet Clinic, we provide tailored physical therapy programs designed to address each pet’s specific needs. Key benefits of physical therapy for dogs and cats include:

  • Enhanced recovery: Physical therapy accelerates healing after injuries, surgeries, or illnesses by promoting blood circulation, reducing inflammation, and encouraging tissue repair.
  • Pain relief: Techniques such as massage, laser therapy, and ultrasound can alleviate pain associated with various conditions or injuries.
  • Improved mobility: Customised exercises strengthen muscles, increase joint flexibility, and improve balance, allowing pets to move more comfortably.
  • Prevention of future injuries: By addressing weaknesses and imbalances, physical therapy can help prevent future issues and maintain overall health.
  • Weight management: Tailored exercise plans support weight loss, reducing strain on joints and improving overall health.
Boss and Olly and Brownie showing off their core strength

What are the types of physical therapies?

There are various types of physical therapies available for dogs and cats, each tailored to address specific conditions and promote optimal health. Some key therapies include:

  • Massage therapy: Reduces pain, muscle tension, and inflammation while promoting relaxation and overall well-being.
  • Hydrotherapy: Low-impact aquatic exercises help build strength, improve mobility, and support recovery in a safe, supportive environment.
  • Laser therapy: Utilises light energy to stimulate healing, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain in targeted areas.
  • Manual therapy: Includes joint mobilisation, stretching, and soft tissue techniques to improve range of motion and relieve discomfort.
  • Therapeutic exercise: Customised exercise plans focus on strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance to support rehabilitation and prevent future injuries.
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES): Uses electrical currents to stimulate muscle contractions, improving muscle strength and function.
A dog in a pool with a life jacket on, receiving hydrotherapy for weight management.

What specific conditions can physical therapy treat in animals?

Physical therapy can effectively treat a wide range of conditions in animals, providing relief and support throughout the healing process. Some specific conditions include:

  • Post-surgical recovery: Helps restore mobility, strength, and function after orthopaedic or neurological surgery.
  • Arthritis and joint issues: Alleviates pain, reduces inflammation, and improves range of motion in pets with osteoarthritis or other joint problems.
  • Muscle and tendon injuries: Supports healing and recovery from strains, sprains, and other soft tissue injuries.
  • Neurological disorders: Aids in the rehabilitation of pets with conditions like intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), degenerative myelopathy, or vestibular syndrome.
  • Obesity and weight management: Provides low-impact exercise options to help overweight pets safely lose weight and improve overall fitness.
  • Performance and conditioning: Enhances strength, endurance, and agility in working or athletic pets, reducing the risk of injury.
  • Age-related decline: Helps maintain mobility, comfort, and quality of life in senior pets experiencing age-related issues.
Dog getting therapy for join issues at Rehabvet