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A Guide to Your Pet’s Physical Rehabilitation

Physical Rehabilitation can be essential to improving your pet’s unique musculoskeletal condition. There are many indications for the use of physical rehabilitation. Post traumatic injury, arthritis, obesity, degenerative joint disease and post surgical repair are examples of indications that your pet may be in need of therapy. It is important that patients be evaluated by a veterinarian prior to beginning a physical rehabilitation program. It is equally important that a specific program is designed for each patient’s needs.

Physical Rehabilitation is not a new concept. It has been used for many decades in human sports and medicine. The extrapolation to animal medicine is a natural progression, as dogs and cats have similar muscle, bone, and joint structure. The concept behind physical rehabilitation is simple. To improve or maintain muscle, bone, and joint viability you must work these systems. In animals, as in humans, a specially formatted regimen of exercises must be completed regularly. Exercises that improve range of motion, flexibility, and strength are essential to returning the affected body part to desired functionality.

To begin a rehabilitation program, you can expect to meet with a technician that has had training in physical rehabilitation for a consultation. Following an examination, an evaluation and consultation with a veterinarian a physical rehabilitation plan will be created. You may wish to participate in the exercises or simply leave your pet for the day in our care.

Sessions are generally three times weekly for 20 to 45 minutes. The frequency and intensity will depend solely on your pet’s needs and abilities. There will be some simple exercises that you can do with your pet at home that will compliment your pet’s in-hospital regimen.

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