CANINE PHYSICAL REHABILITATION SERVICES
Acupuncture works by balancing the nervous system as it can tip towards the sympathetic/stress part of the nervous system due to a variety of reasons. The calm (parasympathetic) part of our nervous system is responsible for reducing anxiety and creating a sense of well-being. We will improve the immune system through increased blood flow to the intestines and parts of the body that control the immune system. The acupuncture will access the fascia layer under the skin and nerve rich locations along the body. This will improve pain associated with specific conditions while releasing endorphins from the nervous system. Acupuncture is well tolerated by pets as the needles are tiny and they start to learn that they feel better after their treatments. We often use a food reward to distract the pets that are aware of the needle placement and ensure that they are relaxed with the use of a lavender massage oil. By starting with a small number of needles, we can allow them to adapt to the visit and then increase our point selection as needed. Conditions we treat are many but often include arthritis, pain, nausea, degenerative myelopathy, laryngeal paralysis, intervertebral disk disease.
Cold Laser Therapy
Is a non-invasive/non-painful infrared light that is directed to tissues under the skin that increases blood flow, reduces pain and accelerates healing. The probe is held at the skin level and the light will penetrate below the skin to cause the Photobiomodulation of the cells. The mitochondria within the cells is quite responsive to the light photons that enter from the probe, this produces ATP which is used by the cells to increase blood flow and improve healing. The wavelength of light is important in creating the necessary effects in the cells and the type of laser will impact how long the probe needs to contact the area. Cold laser is an economical, non-pharmaceutical approach to managing injury and pain. Your pet may be curious about the beep sound that the laser produces but will lie calmly during the procedure as there is no pain associated with the laser. Some pets learn to actively look at the laser asking for their treatment as they learn that it feels good. The results are cumulative so weekly to twice-weekly sessions are needed to see the benefits.
Manual therapy is essential for identifying those areas that your pet is experiencing poor mobility. We are testing the ability of your pet to move muscle groups and joints during the examination and using joint mobilization techniques and stretching to improve their function. The identification of trigger points and their management through local compression of the knot to improve the blood flow and function of the muscle is part of regaining proper function. When there are osteophytes (arthritic bone spurs) in the joint, we will see the pet unable to go through a full range of motion due to the discomfort. We want to improve the range of motion before there is a permanent loss of function in the joint and secondary muscle wasting. We are watching your pet’s response during the treatment to ensure that the treatment is pleasant for your pet. The use of lavender massage oil is the beginning of the treatment to aid in relaxation.
Warm water is used to improve blood flow to the body as your pet starts the exercise plan. The underwater treadmill is a low impact exercise as the water creates buoyancy and the pet does not have to put as much weight on their joints. We also will use the resistance of water to help muscle build and to increase the endurance needed during the exercise. Dogs that receive underwater treadmill therapy recover faster from surgery and maintain better function from degenerative conditions for a longer period of time.
Functional Exercises are a variety of exercises that are designed to improve range of motion, flexibility, strength and balance. They are an important part of any treatment plan for a variety of conditions. Owner’s are often surprised at how quickly their pet can master the use of a disk or yoga peanut ball to improve their overall function. Proper form is monitored by the rehabilitation therapist and your pet will respond to the positive encouragement.
Our home massage booklet is designed to help you connect with your pet and create a release of endorphins for pets that are experiencing stress due to pain or surgery. We assist you in learning how to provide a medical massage for your pet after surgery by giving you tips on being successful. We can also guide you on a massage plan to or how to aid an anxious or geriatric dog by using relaxing massage techniques. We recommend the use of lavender massage oil to create a calm setting for your pet.
Initial Rehabilitation Assessment
Includes case review of medical history, radiographs, and any pertinent blood work. A physical assessment is performed and an initial treatment if applicable.
Veterinary referral form required.
Follow-up Rehabilitation Sessions
Sport Dog Conditioning