When a dog suffers from an injury, physical condition or has recently had surgery, the road to recovery may seem long and difficult. It’s easy to wonder if they will ever return to their normal routines, or be able to participate in activities they once loved. 

While recovery can be a process, the use of canine rehabilitation (dog physical therapy) can speed up the healing process and help your dog move more freely.

Union Lake Veterinary Hospital’s Animal Rehabilitation Center encourages you to be aware of the benefits of dog physical therapy for when your dog may need it.

What Is Dog Physical Therapy?

Canine rehabilitation employs multiple therapeutic techniques with the goal of improving mobility and health. Much like human physical therapy, these exercises help support the recovery process, reduce pain, and encourage muscle, joint, ligament, and bone functioning. Dog rehabilitation is performed by certified veterinary canine rehabilitation therapists who are trained in a range of therapeutic techniques and veterinary medicine. 

What Therapies Are Used?

The goal of canine rehabilitation therapy is to improve functioning and mobility of an affected area of the body. Hydrotherapy for example is an effective, low-impact therapy that allows us to target specific muscle groups without additional impact on painful joints. Rehabilitation therapy relies on a knowledge of physiology and anatomy, along with postoperative recovery, so a therapy plan can be customized for your dog’s condition. Some of the therapies used for this purpose are:

  • Passive range of motion exercises
  • Cold laser therapy
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Therapeutic ultrasound
  • Underwater exercises on a treadmill
  • Targeted exercises and stretches
  • Acupuncture
  • Extracorporeal shockwave therapy
  • Heat and cryotherapy
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Weight management

We combine these therapies with traditional veterinary medicine, including medications and mobility aids. 

How Dog Physical Therapy Helps Your Pet

When a dog is injured or recovering from surgery, they will benefit from therapies that increase blood flow, mobility and capacity to heal. Most orthopedic injuries (from sprains to ligament ruptures) as well as neurological issues, experience better, faster recovery. If it is a chronic condition, it can benefit from a personalized rehab program.

Some of the advantages of dog rehabilitation therapies include:

  • Increased speed and effectiveness of healing after a fracture or other injury
  • Better healing and recovery from ligament and joint damage and injury
  • More rapid and effective postoperative recovery
  • Better healing from neurological complications and conditions
  • Decreased pain and discomfort
  • Increased range of motion and body conditioning
  • Effective weight management

Canine rehabilitation is a complementary part of your dog’s veterinary medicine and wellness program. It can be especially helpful when used in conjunction with your veterinarian or specialist’s medical recommendations and treatments. It can also be beneficial for ongoing or chronic conditions which otherwise would cause loss of quality of life.

Our Animal Rehabilitation Center of Michigan was Michigan’s first rehabilitation center. We treat pets with gentle, loving, low stress and fear-free care. If you would like additional information on how dog physical therapy can help your dog, or how we can help with your dog’s physical therapy, please do not hesitate to call us.