By Catherine Dilda, CVT at Tender Care Veterinary Center
As a Certified Veterinary Technician at Tender Care Veterinary Center, I have always loved helping animals, that is why I started my career in veterinary medicine. Tender Care Veterinary Center supported me in my journey to help our patients through pet physical rehabilitation. I knew that rehab was what I was meant to do as soon as I started my classes; I loved learning everything about it. Now I am able to help my patients at Tender Care Veterinary Center even more.
Many pet owners wonder if their dog could benefit from physical rehabilitation, the answer is almost always a yes! In fact, most animals could benefit from some form of physical rehabilitation!
The most obvious reason animals receive physical rehabilitation is for recovery from an orthopedic injury or surgery. Rehabilitation helps decrease recovery times. Other patients are suffering from arthritis or need assistance with weight loss or pain management. Depending on the needs of the animal, the rehabilitation exercises are tailored to aid with strengthening, coordination, balance, flexibility, weight loss, and/or range of motion. Rehabilitation can include manual therapy. This therapy involves kneading and manipulation of muscles and joint mobilization. Not only do manual therapies help with recovery, but the pets also really enjoy it!
Additional therapies used in physical rehabilitation are thermo therapies (warm and cold), acupuncture, laser, and water therapy, such as swimming or use of the underwater treadmill. The underwater treadmill is a great resource for strengthening, weight loss, increasing flexibility, and more. If a senior pet is gaining weight due to lack of exercise from pain, the underwater treadmill can assist in weight loss. The buoyancy of the water reduces the weight that is beared by the limbs which makes exercise less painful. The water also provides resistance to help strengthen weakened muscles of the limbs.
Whether an animal has an injury, arthritis, is overweight, or needs conditioning, they can benefit from physical rehabilitation! If you would like more information about physical rehabilitation, contact us at Tender Care Veterinary Center by calling (719)599-8282 or visit our Facebook page.
As a CVT, the best part of my day is when I get to help my patients. When I get to see a patient do something that they haven’t been able to due to an injury, it is a wonderful sight. It’s always bittersweet for me when a patient graduates from their rehabilitation program, but knowing I helped them makes it all worth it!