Canine Physical Therapy – a commonplace rehab solution in Europe in the 1980s. It is building wonderful momentum right here in South Africa.
We love what our rehab therapists can do for our dogs and have experienced their fine work first hand.
Some benefits of canine physical therapy includes:
- Increased rate of recovery from injury and surgery
- Increased strength and range of motion
- Improved functional abilities
- Performance enhancement of athletic dogs
- Weight loss assistance
- Pain reduction
What are the Goals of Rehabilitation?
The goal of physical rehab is three-fold:
- to regain functional ability
- to optimize movement of all body parts
- to improve quality of life.
Post surgery rehab for dogs can prove invaluable, in particular, water therapy.
Your pet’s muscles will begin to waste away (atrophy) within a day or two after an injury or surgery. When rehab isn’t started as soon as possible, the wound or injury area will show increased swelling due to lack of movement.
Included is loss of muscle control, decreased stability in joints and increased stiffness of tendons and muscles.
Weight-bearing activities that would normally slow and reverse these conditions are often not an option after a surgery, but physical therapy can start as soon as your dog’s incisions have healed.
Underwater treadmills are an excellent way to make use of your injured pet’s natural functional activities. These include walking, trotting and running. Underwater treadmills takes advantage of your dog’s natural gait patterns, helpings improve his range of motion after an injury/surgery. At the same time, water provides gentle resistance, helping build and maintain muscle strength and tone.
Before trying physical therapy with your dog, clear it with your veterinarian to ensure that it’s appropriate – a referral/medical clearance is always safest for your fur buddy.