Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Rehab is FAB for Pets and Horses Too!

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Sleuth the Reporter Dog, VNN Mascot

Sleuth has a lot of canine friends who play Frisbee and even do some crazy things like herding cows!!  Unfortunately, these friends are also prone to injuries.   So, Sleuth had the Veterinary News Network find out a little more about Pet Physical Rehabilitation Therapy.

1)    Dogs who have undergone orthopedic surgeries or who have been injured in some way can often benefit from physical rehabilitation.  In addition, overweight pets, arthritic pets and those who need some added conditioning might find the therapy helpful.

2)    The goal of physical rehabilitation is to restore the pet to a “pre-injury” state and help return the pet to a more natural function.  This usually means helping a pet relearn how to use certain muscles or how to control balance.

3)    Many methods can be used for physical rehabilitation.  Range of motion exercises, trigger point release and even medical massage are all some of the more passive therapies.

4)    Safe and controlled exercise is a very important aspect of these treatments.  Some pets are taught to use balance balls or wobble boards and still others might learn to walk on a treadmill.

5)    The underwater treadmill is one of the most common and popular methods of physical rehabilitation.  The buoyancy of the water helps to lessen the weight bearing shock on the joints. 

6)    Even heat and cold therapies are employed.  Heat helps to loosen muscles and joints before exercise and the cold packs will reduce inflammation afterwards.

7)    Coordination exercises are also important.  You might see pets running through tunnels, around a slalom course of cones or even over pet sized hurdles!

8)    It’s important to look for experts who have been certified in pet rehabilitation.  These folks have had extra schooling in order to become certified as a pet rehabilitation specialist.

9)    Also, make sure a veterinarian is either performing the exercises or supervising.  It’s very easy for someone without a veterinarian’s knowledge to cause harm with these therapies.

10)    Trust a site like MyVNN.com to provide you with accurate and unbiased pet health information.