More Than RehabilitationWeight Loss
Many of our canine friends are overweight. Obese dogs are more susceptible to multiple health risks. We have developed a program that incorporates exercise with our underwater treadmill, diet changes, and home care instructions that is very effective for weight reduction.
There are many different forms of conditioning ranging from maintaining a healthy canine athlete, to strengthening after injury / surgery, to retraining for canine sports. The benefits to conditioning includes maintaining fitness and coordination, reduced risk of injury, faster recovery from injury, weight control, and a sense of well being.
Massage is very effective in increasing circulation, relieving pain, and relieving muscle tightness and spasms.
Electrical stimulation is a commonly used therapy in canine rehabilitation which is effective for increasing range of motion, increasing muscle strength, providing muscle re-education following nerve damage, correcting structural abnormalities, and improving muscle tone. This treatment also enhances function, improves pain control, accelerates healing, and reduces muscle spasm and edema.
Walking on an underwater treadmill in a warm water environment has the benefits of producing increased joint range of motion, improved muscle flexibility and mobility, enhanced circulation and facilitation of front to rear and side-to-side balance. Because it can relieve pain and increase muscle strength while putting decreased weight on the joints it is extremely beneficial in the treatment of osteoarthritis. It is also an invaluable tool when working with patients with nerve deficits, as many patients can take steps in water before they have voluntary motion on land. As an exercise tool, it is a safe way to achieve weight loss, especially in obese dogs with joint disease.
Low intensity or “cold” laser is a form of intense light therapy using various frequencies and wavelengths that promote positive physiologic changes within cells that support healing and reduce or eliminate pain. The laser enhances healing of wounds, burns and treats acutely inflamed joints.
Therapeutic ultrasound is considered an effective treatment for rehabilitating musculoskeletal conditions and restricted range of motion resulting from joint and muscle contracture, muscle spasm, bursitis, tendonitis, sprains and strains. This treatment also decreases scar tissue and wound healing time.
Therapeutic exercise is perhaps one of the most valuable treatments used in canine rehabilitation. Some of the common goals of therapeutic exercise includes improving pain-free range of motion, improving muscle mass and strength, and improving balance. Neurologic re-education, and improved performance to prevent further injury are also achieved with therapeutic exercise.
Canine Rehabilitation StaffJames R. Speiser, DVM, DABVP, CCRT
Nicolás Vecchio, DVM, DACVS, CCRT
Kelly Werner, RVT, CCRA
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