Canine exercise rehabilitation is a growing field in veterinary medicine and a great way to make a bigHope Treadmill Therapy1 10-16 impact on the quality of life in many dogs. Exercise rehabilitation can be used in many instances including patients recovering from orthopedic surgery, attempting to prevent the need for some surgeries, and to help with mobility in our older pets with arthritis.
It is very important that orthopedic surgery patients keep the range of motion of the affected limb to prevent any loss of function later in life. Maintaining range of motion will also help reduce pain when the pet starts using the limb normally again and help them return to normal more quickly. In addition, weekly rehabilitation visits help the veterinarian and veterinary technicians monitor healing and make sure that each patient is progressing as they should, as well as allowing veterinary staff to help catch any issues while they are still minor and easy to resolve. Sometimes dogs with minor orthopedic conditions, such as mild cases of patellar luxation (where the kneecap slides), benefit from simple muscle building and strengthening exercises that can prevent the need for surgery in the future.
Older peets that are starting to have a hard time getting around may be developing arthritis or have been diagnosed with arthritis. Examination by a veterinarian may lead to the prescription of an appropriate joint medication and/or supplement. When they have proper medication to help with inflammation it is also helpful to keep them active. The saying “if you don’t use it, you lose it” is very true for muscles in older pets. Exercise rehabilitation offers option to get older pets more exercise with minimal strain on their joints, such as utilizing an underwater treadmill. There are many exerciseUltrasound Therapy on Demon 10-16s owners can be taught to perform at home with their pet if they have trouble transporting them into the veterinary clinic frequently.
If you notice your dog is just not getting around like they used to or maybe was chasing a squirrel and has been a little sore, a few sessions of exercise rehabilitation might be just what the doctor ordered! Our team of veterinarians and veterinary technicians can help tailor a specific exercise rehabilitation program to help your canine friend recover from surgery or injury along with manage pain.
By Shannon Quigley, RVT