Physical rehabilitation has been an integral component of human medicine and surgery for several decades. We now understand that the same principles of rehabilitation that apply to humans apply to our companion pets.
At North Georgia VRP, we have included rehabilitation as part of our overall services to improve the quality of care for many of our referral patients. It is especially rewarding for pets that have undergone surgery. The goals of rehabilitation are to alleviate pain and restore normal musculoskeletal function.
Rehabilitation is extremely useful for orthopedic or neurological problems, weight management issues, pets that have undergone surgery, or pets in need of conditioning. Appointments are also available for healthy animals and working dogs whose owners are seeking ways of keeping their animals fit and for preventing future problems.
We provide complete rehabilitation therapy for pets in a comfortable atmosphere. Some treatment modalities we offer include therapeutic ultrasound, underwater treadmill, massage and mobility therapy and therapeutic exercise. Similar to human rehabilitation, our services include a complete medical evaluation specifically tailored to your pet's condition, including home care instructions and education.
Rehabilitation services are administered under the direct supervision of Dr. Kinney, an experienced veterinary rehabilitation practitioner.
Indications for Rehabilitation
- Recuperation after Orthopedic and Soft Tissue Surgery
- Decreased Performance in Working Dogs
- Muscle Injury or Strain
- Tendon Injury
- Neck and Back Problems - Disc Disease
- Joint Injury
- Limb Deformities
- Pain Management
- Nerve Damage
- Weight Loss
Canine Underwater Treadmill
The Canine Underwater Treadmill provides low impact exercise in a reduced gravity environment. This treatment combines heat therapy of warm water with strengthening exercise while eliminating impact and concussion to the joints. Due to the buoyancy of the water, the underwater treadmill provides the ability to strengthen the animal's muscles in an environment of little or no pressure on the joints.
The benefits of underwater treadmill therapy are numerous. It allows dogs to exercise with less pain. Weak, unbalanced and arthritic pets can move around more freely without falling. It allows an earlier return to exercise after surgery. The underwater treadmill can also be used for weight loss.
Similar to the underwater treadmill, the land treadmill provides therapeutic exercise options for some pets. It has a broad range of resistance and incline positions which help strengthen and encourage bone growth. The land treadmill is also used as an alternative to the underwater treadmill for pets that aren't receptive to this type of therapy.
Therapeutic Ultrasound is a deep tissue-heating agent, used to treat musculoskeletal injuries. Opposed to superficial heat treatment that can cause excessive heating of the skin, ultrasound produces temperature changes deep within the underlying tissues. Ultrasound is helpful in treating joint motion limiting conditions, soft tissue injuries, and chronic conditions. Therapeutic ultrasound increases blood flow to the affected area which accelerates the wound healing process.
The benefits of ultrasound include:
- Reduces pain and muscle spasms
- Improves flexibility
- Improves wound healing
- Decreases scar tissue
- Improves circulation
Therapeutic Exercise is an important part of the rehabilitation process at North Georgia VRP. The purpose of these exercises is to improve flexibility, muscle strength and mass, improve balance, enhance cardiovascular performance and prevent further injury.
There are a variety of exercises that we use during the rehabilitation process. The types of exercises depend upon the animal's condition and goals of therapy. Various types of exercise that we use include:
- Supportive Exercises
- Balance Training
- Assisted Ambulation and Gait Training
- Strengthening Exercises
- Flexibility Exercises
- Weight Bearing Exercises