What is rehabilitation medicine?
Veterinary rehabilitation is the application of techniques, similar to human physical therapy, to improve the mobility, joint health, and muscular strength of your pet. Mobility, or lack thereof, plays a significant role in the quality of life of our furry family member. The rehabilitation team’s goal is to help restore function so that your pet can live in comfort and enjoy their normal activities. Any injury or disease that affects your pet’s mobility or comfort can benefit from rehabilitation therapy. Rehabilitation therapies are specifically tailored to address the medical condition or problem that your pet is experiencing.
What to expect in the rehabilitation evaluation?
A rehabilitation evaluation will include a comprehensive rehabilitation physical exam which assess gait analysis for lameness, joint range of motion, muscle mass, pain assessment, and neurologic function. Based on this information, Dr. Goode will develop a therapeutic plan that will address all the needs identified in the evaluation.
What are some of the conditions that can be treated of managed with veterinary rehabilitation?
Anything that affects your pet’s ability to move around normally and pain-free can be helped with veterinary rehabilitation. Two main body systems are the most common and include the musculoskeletal (bones, joints, tendons, muscle, etc.) and neurologic (spine and nerves).
For the musculoskeletal system common conditions treated include:
- Cranial Cruciate Ligament tears in the knee
- Arthritis: any joint
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia, fragmented medial coronoid process, jump-down syndrome
- Tendon or ligament damage
- Achilles tendon rupture
- Shoulder: OCD, medial shoulder instability, supraspinatus tendinopathy, biceps tendinopathy
- Muscle: iliopsoas strain, other muscle tears and strains
- Obesity: arthritis, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, ligament injury
For the neurologic system common conditions treated include:
- Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)
- Paralysis, paresis
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Fibrocartilagenous embolism (FCE)
What is therapeutic exercise?
Dr. Goode formulates targeted exercise plans specific to each pet’s condition and level of fitness. Therapeutic exercise is the foundation of any rehabilitation therapy program. Dr. Goode will focus on strengthening the muscles needed to maintain or improve function, balance, range of motion, and proprioception (awareness of foot placement). To accomplish this, many different modalities are used such as cavalettis, weave cones, p-nuts, discs, wobble boards, fit bones, tension bands, and obstacle courses. Home exercise plans will be given to clients and provide videos so you know you will be doing it correctly. Our team is happy to demonstrate for you during your pet’s session as well.
My dog is having surgery, when is the best time to start rehabilitation therapy?
Immediately!!! You can never start too soon with rehabilitation therapy after your pet has surgery whether it be knee surgery for a CCL tear or back surgery for a protruding disc. While your pet will have restrictions in activity from your surgeon based on what type of surgery was performed, there is so much else that can be done to optimize your pet’s recovery from the procedure. We will develop a treatment plan that will help your pet them recover faster, stronger, and pain free after their surgical procedure.
How often will my pet need to come in for rehabilitation?
This is a hard question to answer as there are many variables that will play a role in what treatments and how frequently they will be needed. Based on the rehabilitation evaluation and examination, Dr. Goode will develop a comprehensive treatment plan. Some treatments and therapies are performed multiple times per week, especially in the early stages. In addition to the in-clinic treatments, there are therapies and exercises that you will perform at home. It is our goal to work with you on the best options for you and your pet to assure that they will the best chance at quick recovery and comfortable life.
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