Dogs are resilient creatures, but sometimes they need help recovering from an injury or illness. This is where canine rehabilitation comes in. Rehabilitation is the process of helping animals recover from injuries, muscle atrophy or surgeries by using therapeutic exercises and techniques.
What is canine rehabilitation?
Canine rehabilitation is a form of physical therapy that focuses on restoring a dog’s mobility, strength, and function. Rehab can help dogs recover faster and more completely than if they were left to heal on their own.
Rehabilitation can also help prevent future injuries by strengthening muscles and improving their range of motion. Dogs of all ages can benefit from rehabilitation, from puppies with developmental issues to senior dogs with arthritis.
What does rehabilitation involve?
Rehabilitation involves a specifically trained vet nurse working with the dog to complete a combination of therapeutic exercises and techniques to help regain their mobility, strength, and function.
The rehab nurse will create and implement a rehabilitation plan that is tailored to the dog’s specific needs, the dog’s progress will be monitored and adjustments to the plan as needed. They can also provide owners with guidance on how to continue rehabilitation exercises at home.
What exercises and techniques does my dog complete?
Depending on the requirements and plan for your dog’s rehabilitation, there are a number of options for exercises and techniques. We also have the option to measure and fit your dog for a custom made brace to support their recovery.
Brace wearing – A brace is a specialised device designed to provide support and aid in the rehabilitation of dogs with injuries or conditions affecting their limbs. Such as hip dysplasia, arthritis and ligament tears. These braces are often used to support the joint or limb affected by the injury or condition, reducing pain and inflammation, and promoting healing and recovery. In addition to providing support and facilitating healing, they can also help prevent further injury by stabilising the affected limb or joint during physical activity.
Range of motion exercises – In canines this refers to the degree of movement that a dog’s joints can flex, extend, abduct, adduct, and rotate. The ROM can be assessed by gently manipulating each joint in a dog’s body through its natural range of movement.
Strengthening exercises – These exercises help build a dog’s strength and muscle mass to improve their balance and coordination and enhance their overall physical fitness.
Balance and coordination exercises – These exercises may involve standing on a balance board or performing other activities that challenge a dog’s stability to help improve their physical fitness and overall wellbeing.
Hydrotherapy – Hydrotherapy involves using water to help dogs recover from injuries. It can help reduce swelling, improve circulation, and increase range of motion, while exercising in a low impact environment.
Massage therapy – Massage therapy can help reduce pain and stiffness in dogs. It can also help improve circulation and promote relaxation.
If your dog is in need of rehabilitation, having someone to offer encouragement and guidance can make all the difference.
Talk to us about how our rehab nurse can help get you and your furry friend off on the right paw.