Veterinary physical rehabilitation is the application of techniques to improve the mobility, joint health, and muscular strength of animals. Mobility, or lack thereof, plays a significant role in the quality of life of our animal companions, and it is the goal of the rehabilitation team to help restore function so that they 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.


Q: What does a rehabilitation evaluation involve?

A: A rehabilitation evaluation will include a comprehensive rehabilitation physical exam to include gait analysis for lameness, joint range of motion, muscle mass, pain assessment and neurologic function. Based on this information Dr. Brown will develop a therapeutic plan that will include supplementation, pain management, nutritional needs, therapeutic treatments, and home exercise plan to address all the needs identified in the evaluation.

Q: What are some of the conditions that can be treated of managed with veterinary rehabilitation?

A: The list is long! Really 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
• Fractures

For the neurologic system common conditions treated include:
• Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)
• Paralysis, paresis
• Degenerative myelopathy
• Fibrocartilagenous embolism (FCE)

Q: My dog is having surgery, when is the best time to start rehabilitation therapy?

A: Immediately!!! You can never start too soon with rehabilitation therapy after your dogs has surgery whether it be knee surgery for a CCL tear or back surgery for a protruding disc. While your dog 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 dog’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.

Q: How often will my dog need to come in for rehabilitation?

This is a tough question to answer as there are a multitude of factors that will play a role in what treatments and how frequently they will be needed. Based on the rehabilitation evaluation and examination Dr. Brown 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 dog to assure that they will the best chance at quick recovery and comfortable life.