Canine Rehabilitation is similar to “Physical Therapy” in human medicine. This young field of canine rehabilitation is changing the way pets recover from injury and surgery. Rehabilitation services are ideal for dogs that have been injured, undergone surgery or who suffer from arthritis, obesity or neurological disease. By using rehabilitation techniques and modalities we can maximize your pet’s ability to recover physically while minimizing pain and improving time to recovery. Our Veterinarians here at Prescott Animal Hospital are always looking for more than just a good surgical outcome; we seek earlier return of neuromuscular control and function through active engagement by both the rehabilitation practitioner and the pet parent. But wait, these techniques and modalities are not only being used on dogs, the concepts are also being used on cats and exotic animals as well.

How does it work?

There are many physical modalities and therapeutic exercises used throughout the rehabilitation process. We utilize simple modalities like heat and cold therapy, stretching, passive range of motion and therapeutic exercises. We use technologically advanced modalities like a therapeutic laser, neuromuscular electrical stimulation and shock wave therapy. Many programs include the use of land and underwater treadmills, which have many benefits for the patient. All rehab programs are tailored to the individual, and as the pet improves the programing adapts to the progression.

At PAH the most commonly prescribed canine rehabilitation is for the patient after a Cranial Crucial Repair Surgery or a Patellar Surgery. We also use rehab to treat arthritis, hip dysplasia, and spinal cord injuries and degeneration. Canine rehabilitation is not only about injury recovery; it has endless possibilities for weight loss, fitness and endurance.

Most of our Canine Rehabilitation being done on our postoperative orthopedic and neurological cases, but we are already offering many rehab services and are excited about expanding those services. Our Veterinarians and team members are working towards becoming Canine Certified Rehabilitation Practitioners (CCRP) .

The science

Canine rehab is becoming an evidence-based veterinary practice. Meaning there is emerging evidence that veterinary physiotherapy, CCRP prescribed rehab programs provide better and quicker outcomes than typical restricted exercise routines. There are some recent studies that indicate that 25% reduction in your pets weight, will result is a longer life. That is amazing, the power of exercise to speed healing as well as our pets longevity.

Kenneth C. Skinner, DVM
Prescott Animal Hospital