Pets Need Physical Therapy Too

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Physical Therapy, or Canine Rehabilitation, helps address the illnesses or injuries that limit your pet’s ability to move and perform normal functional activities in their daily lives. Physical therapy is often used when surgery might not be an option, or after surgery if the pet is having a hard time recovering.

Each activity used in animal physical therapy has different benefits and not all activities are useful for each condition. Physical activities include balance exercises, slow and patterned walking, cavaletties, use of physiorolls, and theraballs, stair climbing, sit to stand exercises, weight pulling, and ball playing. Rehabilitation can also include manual therapies such as stretching, massage, and joint mobilization.

At times, we use assistance devices to help your pet’s mobility. Ambulation assistance devices include carts, harnesses, braces, slings, and foot protection. These assistance devices can be used during recovery and for long term support as needed.

Medical conditions that benefit from physical therapy include: osteoarthritis, spine or back problems, nerve injury, pain control, ligament or muscle strain, vestibular disease, and wounds. Surgical conditions aided by physical therapy include: post spinal surgery, joint repair or replacement, tendon or ligament repair, and bone fractures.

While physical therapy is used to treat senior and sick pets, it is also used in healthy pets. Physical therapy works great for performance enhancement of canine athletes and for weight control and reduction.

Grooming Tip of the Week

In the summer, your double-coated dog will shed his undercoat (bottom layer) and leave the guard hairs (top layer), which naturally cools off your dog. When you shave the double coat, you cause the undercoat to regrow at a pace that is faster than the guard hairs. With the undercoat becoming the outer layer, it not only damages and changes your dog’s coat appearance, but more importantly it stops the air from getting to his/her skin and prevents the natural cooling process. The texture of the undercoat also absorbs the sun’s rays and contributes to overheating.

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