Many people seek out the care of physical therapists throughout their lifetime. Whether it be for a bad back, strengthening a limb after surgery, or regaining function after an injury, physical therapy plays a huge role in helping us stay healthy, active, and comfortable.
Animals are no different. Pet rehabilitation therapy is fast becoming a cornerstone of veterinary care. Godspeed Animal Care knows how important it is to provide the very best for our furry patients, which is why we offer pet rehabilitation therapy services for animals in the Williamsburg, Virginia area.
Pet Rehabilitation Therapy Basics
Much like physical therapy in people, pet rehabilitation therapy focuses on the relationships between muscles, bones, nerves, tendons, and ligaments in order to decrease pain and improve function.
Some veterinarians, such as our very own Dr. Pamela Dumont, have undergone additional training in order to receive certification in veterinary rehabilitation therapy. This certification requires many hours of studying and hands-on experience to be better able to help our pet patients.
Pets being seen through our rehabilitation services are assessed individually and a treatment plan is designed based on the patient’s needs. Most patients can benefit from a multi-faceted approach, incorporating therapies, such as:
- Passive range of motion and stretching exercises
- Therapeutic laser sessions
- Therapeutic exercise programs
- Underwater treadmill sessions
These techniques, when utilized correctly, can help pets with a wide array of problems and needs. In particular, animals with decreased function and pain related to osteoarthritis and aging can benefit, as well as those recovering from an injury or surgery.
Rehab by Sea
While rehabilitation therapy typically relies on utilizing several techniques to produce the best outcome for our patients, we are particularly proud of our underwater treadmill.
Also known as hydro-treadmill therapy, an underwater treadmill is a valuable tool that has a myriad of uses. These might include:
- Helping to increase strength and function after injury or surgery
- Encouraging neurologic function
- Promoting weight bearing
- Conditioning athletes
- Weight management
- Improving function in geriatric pets
Underwater treadmill therapy achieves its benefits due to the ability to exploit the buoyancy or resistance of water, depending on the goals for a patient. The warm water is also invaluable for muscle relaxation, tendon stretching, and improving edema or swelling.
An underwater treadmill allows the patient to maintain the the normal gait during the session, as opposed to actual swimming, which exercises different muscles. Most patients seem to enjoy the sessions, especially when we utilize favorite treats or toys for motivation.
Speed, water height, turbulence, and water temperature can all be controlled, making underwater treadmill therapy very customizable. We can find a way to use it to help almost any patient.
Pet rehabilitation therapy is an important part of pet care for so many of our patients. If you think that your four-legged friend could benefit, please feel free to contact us for more information. We love to help animals feel better and are happy to assist you in any way possible.