Frequently Asked Questions
Veterinary physical rehabilitation is the use of noninvasive techniques for the rehabilitation of injuries in nonhuman animals. It is used to relieve pain, improve movement and ability, prevent injuries; recover from strokes, accidents and surgery, manage chronic disease such as arthritis dysplasia and myelopathy, increase cardiovascular capacity, assist in weight reduction, improve balance and overall quality of life. Veterinary physical rehabilitation includes, stretching, massage therapy, hydrotherapy; stimulation by use of low-level lasers, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), pulsed magnetic fields (PMFT), and ultrasound; rehabilitative exercises, and application of heat and cold.
There are many conditions for which hydrotherapy may be appropriate: regaining muscle strength after an injury or surgery, increasing flexibility and range of motion, gait conditioning, maintaining strength to offset degenerative diseases, retraining an animal to walk after spinal trauma, reducing pain from arthritis, general fitness, and improving the quality of life in senior pets.
All domestic animals, mostly dogs, but also some cats, and occasionally goats.
Stretching, range of motion and static exercises are all excellent modalities. But they, by themselves, do not provide the resistance and work rate needed to accomplish your goals for your pet. Water provides 1000 times more resistance than air and walking in a water treadmill, at speeds determined by our trained therapists, is the fastest way to (re)build muscle strength, re-establish gait patterning and speed up the recovery process. Similarly, there is no substitute for a full-size pool when it comes to building front leg and shoulder strength, relieve painful arthritic joints, improving cardiovascular fitness (which can help with weight loss), and enhancing your pet’s quality of life.
You are not alone. Many animals have an initial aversion to water. Our therapists start the introduction process slowly and with lots of encouragement. Our water treadmills are designed to gradually fill with warm water from the bottom. There is no “dropping” an animal into a tank. The water is kept at 90 degrees for comfort and therapeutic results. All four walls are glass so as to not isolate your pet. 99% of the time, our therapists will actually be in the exercise unit with your pet! Chances are likely that, even after some initial resistance your pet will become comfortable doing the work. And the results are amazing.
Absolutely! We love having owners be part of the healing process. Come encourage your pet in the water treadmills, watch your pet swim in our large pool, sit for the LASER sessions or be there to support your pet during chiropractic adjustments. It makes all of us happy when pet and owner(s) walk in the door. Our patients are like family and so are our clients!
Initial Consultations are 40 minutes of history, status, goals, measurements, evaluations, information, recommendations, and, whenever possible, laser therapy, to help your pet get a jump-start on recovery. You’ll receive a customized treatment plan, recommendation for frequency of visits, tips of basic at-home exercises, and a target date for a first re-check. Your referring veterinarian will also receive a letter explaining our findings and treatment plan in order to keep them in the loop. It is a comprehensive 40 minutes.
We do not, but we are always happy to refer you to one of our network vets for any surgical procedures necessary.
It depends. All animals and situations are different. Some come only for a few visits while others may need more time. To build strength after a CCL repair may be 2-3 months. Recovering from complete paralysis may require significantly more time. And, just like with human Physical Therapy, it will depend on the frequency of visits and the amount and quality of work done at home. We usually recommend 2 visits per week to start, with a re-check at 4-6 weeks. At the re-check we’ll review progress and modify your pet’s treatment plan accordingly.
No, we do not currently work with insurance directly, however you able to claim from insurance directly. We do not direct-bill insurances.
You bet. Once approved for swimming by our “Swim Coach” and your veterinarian your dog will be accompanied in the pool by one of our therapists.