The goal of dog physical therapy is to improve strength and health of joints, bones and soft tissues damaged by trauma, disease or operations. Animal physical therapy equipment like an underwater treadmill are designed to maximize movement, improve systemic health and raise quality of life for dogs. Certified canine rehabilitation experts have completed numerous hours of hands-on training and coursework to skillfully evaluate a dog's health, develop a unique treatment program for patients and monitor progress of dogs in therapy. In addition, animal physical therapists perform joint mobilization and engage dogs in therapeutic exercises and stretches. They are also trained to apply modalities such as laser therapy, electrical stimulation and ultrasound therapy when applicable.
Conditions Treated by Our Dog Physical Therapy Specialist
Dogs with degenerative joint disease, elbow/hip dysplasia and general weakness from suffering an extended illness are just a few of the conditions that respond quickly to dog physical therapy. Other conditions benefiting from animal rehab include:
- Post-operative issues due to laminectomies, total joint replacements and cruciate surgery
- Vestibular dysfunctions
- General musculoskeletal pain and stiffness
- Neurological disorders
Braces, splints, artificial limbs and other adaptive equipment such as mobility carts may be recommended for use in conjunction with animal physical therapy.
Benefits of Dog Physical Therapy
Physical therapy for dogs provides the same health benefits humans gain from physical therapy. These benefits include:
- Stimulates circulation of oxygenated blood and lymph fluid to facilitate healing of tissue trauma
- Increases muscle strength to stabilize coordination and balance
- Enhances soft tissue and joint flexibility
- Eases pain to give dogs better quality of life
- Helps dogs rely less on mobility devices
- Promotes emotional well-being of dogs
One of our most effective and popular animal physical therapy devices is the underwater treadmill. Hydrotherapy, or physical therapy with water-supported equipment, uses the healing properties of resistance and buoyancy to support recovering dogs while they perform exercises guided by their animal therapist. By reducing gravity and the forceful impact gravity has on the dog (and human) body, an underwater treadmill enables dogs to gradually lengthen strides while increasing blood flow and reducing pain to damaged areas. Hydrotherapy with underwater treadmills is also an excellent way for older, less mobile dogs to get the exercise they need without causing them pain.