If you are a client of Union Lake Veterinary Hospital, you may be aware of our onsite Animal Rehabilitation Center of Michigan, Inc. This labor of love opened its doors in 2001 and was the first animal rehabilitation center in the state. Since we are celebrating our 20th anniversary, we want to spotlight the amazing work on behalf of canines that is being accomplished at the Center. 

The Mission of the Animal Rehabilitation Center

The Animal Rehabilitation Center was conceived to provide physical therapy and rehabilitation services to Michigan’s canines. In fact, it was the first canine rehabilitation center. Our facility administrator and COO, Annette Engler, LVT, CVPM, CCRP was the first Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner in Michigan! 

As a part of the Union Lake Veterinary Hospital campus, the Rehab Center’s vision is helping dogs to live a full, pain-free, enhanced life. Our dog rehabilitation center offers a number of therapies that encourage better healing from injuries and surgeries. These include an underwater treadmill (hydrotherapy), cold laser therapy, electrical stimulation, shock wave therapy, isolated and controlled exercises, and advanced diagnostics and equipment. 

The goal of our Center is to get your dog back to the level of activity or endurance they had before injury or surgery (or better than before). We also work with older and overweight dogs to improve their movement and quality of life. We work with a range of dogs, from those involved in agility competitions and training to dogs with orthopedic conditions that preclude them from certain activities. Our aim is to get your dog back on the right paw with better health, ability, and vitality. 

Services Offered at the Animal Rehabilitation Center

Whether your pet is recovering from surgery or has a chronic condition that requires support, the Animal Rehabilitation Center has treatment options that can help. We assess your pet and create an individualized plan for rehabilitation. By executing the plan, your pet will thrive with greater mobility and enjoy a better quality of life.

Some of these effective therapies include:

  1. Management for Chronic Conditions – Osteoarthritis is a common diagnosis for older dogs. We use a multi-modal approach to treatment of painful joint conditions, including medications, nutrition, laser therapy, and hydrotherapy.
  2. Therapeutic Ultrasound – Using sound waves, this technique relaxes the muscles and tendons. This, in turn, increases the speed of healing and decreases pain.
  3. Electrical Stimulation – Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) is used to contract the muscles for pain reduction and an increase in muscle mass and strength.
  4. Underwater Treadmill – Hydrotherapy is of great benefit to pets in recovery because it is a low impact form of exercise. 
  5. Extracorporeal Shockwave – This form of therapy uses soundwaves and is useful in stimulating new cells and encouraging faster healing.
  6. Class IV Laser Therapy Cold laser therapy is another non-invasive therapy that relies on low-beam laser light to encourage cell development and reduce discomfort.
  7. Cryotherapy –  Cryotherapy uses both cold (ice) and heat for a period of 72 hours post-injury or surgery. Alternating between heat and cold minimizes tissue damage, pain, and swelling.
  8. Therapeutic Exercises – Passive motion or movement exercises are low impact and designed to improve strength and flexibility to those dogs with mobility problems. 
  9. Therapeutic Massage – Massage with the intent to enhance healing has been an effective therapy for the past few decades. Massage releases toxins, increases circulation, decreases stress, and so many other wonderful benefits.

There are many other advantages to bringing your best friend to see us at the Animal Rehabilitation Center. If your pet has an upcoming surgery or has experienced chronic pain or an injury, please consult with us. Rehabilitation is the key to your pet’s successful recovery, and to getting them back on the right track to greater vitality and well-being.

We’d love to tell you more!