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Dog Rehabilitation

What Is Canine Rehabilitation?

Canine Physical Rehabilitation is very similar to Physical Therapy in humans.  Relatively new to veterinary medicine, it was developed initially to improve postoperative patient care to reduce pain, improve healing, and to get pets back to normal activity faster.  It has many other applications in veterinary medicine than after surgery.  Rehabilitation can be used in dogs where surgery cannot be performed to improve function.  It is used to relieve joint, muscle, connective tissue and nerve pain; to stimulate healing, to reduce swelling, to restore function.

At Viera East Veterinary Center, we offer a variety of rehabilitation services for your dog that has provided benefits to our patients through much quicker recovery and restoration of mobility following surgery or illness.   

Jolanta Kandefer, CCRA, has been taking care of our rehabilitation patients since her certification in 2005.  With her annual participation in the Symposium on Therapeutic Advances in Animal Rehabilitation, we can offer the newest treatments and techniques in rehabilitation and sports medicine.

Rehabilitation & Conditioning Services Dog rehab at viera east veterinary center

Conditions that respond to rehabilitation include but are not limited to:

  • Post-surgery recovery: Knee-cruciate ligament, patella surgeries; amputation; hip
  • Pain management: Osteoarthritis, muscle sprain or strain
  • Neurorehabilitation: Back injuries or post-back surgery, peripheral nerve injury, brachial plexus injury
  • Geriatric/Osteoarthritic patient
  • Wound healing
  • Weight management
  • Fractures

Treatment Modalities

Some of the Treatment Modalities we provide include: 

  • Therapeutic Laser Class 4, Companion laser unit
  • Therapeutic Laser Class 3B, SpectraVET
  • TENS unit, and Estim (Electrostimulation)
  • Therapeutic Ultrasound
  • Therapeutic Exercises (Rocker Board, Caveletti Poles, Balance Balls, etc)
  • Manual Therapies (Massage, Mobilizations, Neurodynamics, Tractions, Fascial Releases, Trigger Points)
  • Acupoints w/ Laser Stimulation
  • Targeted pulsed electromagnetic field therapy treatment, a more localized treatment in the form of Assisi Loop
  • Digital Thermal Imaging Camera (digital thermal imaging screening)
  • Land Treadmill for recovery after surgery or back injury

When Does My Dog Need Rehab?

If you notice signs or symptoms of pain and change in your pet's behavior, notify our practice right away, so we can take action to assist your pet.

Some common signs of pain in your dog may include:

  • Limping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Decreased activity
  • Pausing to do things like jump on or off furniture, or not jumping anymore at all
  • Plopping down when laying down
  • Taking extra time to get up 
  • Nausea and / or vomiting
  • Vocalization
  • Change in temperament or behavior
  • Licking a specific area
  • Change in bathroom habits
  • Panting
  • The appearance of the third eyelid
  • Hiding
  • Resists being picked up or petted

Laser (PBM) Therapy

Laser therapy is a noninvasive procedure that uses light to stimulate cell regeneration, and to increase blood flow to the targeted tissue. Photobiomodulation (PBM, or Laser) therapy results are achieved when a sufficient dose of light energy reaches target tissue and results in decreased inflammation, decreased pain, and acccelerated healing. Viera East Veterinary Center uses laser therapy for post-operative recovery, dental patients, wound patients. PBM can also be used on internal organs; directly during surgical repair, or indirectly through the body wall.  Diseases that we regularly treat with laser are Chronic Renal disease, bladder infection (Cystitis), Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Pancreatitis, Asthma, Sinusitis, Stomatitis.

Rehabilitation uses laser therapy and a variety of the other modalities previously listed for patients diagnosed with Osteoarthritis, Intervertebral Disc Disease, Hip Dysplasia, shoulder and elbow injuries.  

Goals of Rehabilitation

The goals for our patients are individual for their unique problem, and their unique lifestyle.  We will have a different goal for a 2yr old agility dog than we will have for a 13yr old arthritic lap warmer.  We work with our pet parents to design a protocol that meets their goals for their furry friend. Overall, pain relief and increasing ability to function and move are our goals.  

At Viera East Veterinary Center, our veterinary staff is here to help ensure that you and your dog are able to enjoy a long, healthy and happy relationship and we believe that starts with compassionate health care. Make an appointment today to discuss how rehabilitation therapy may be able to improve the quality of life for your dog. One of our caring staff members is available to take your call now at (321) 339-2250.

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