What is it?

Physical rehabilitation, also known as physiotherapy or physical therapy, uses a collection of modalities and exercises that are formulated into an individualised programme for an animal suffering from a musculoskeletal and/or neurologic condition.

dog lameness
pet rehabilitation Auckland
dog physical rehabilitation
dog arthritis pain Auckland
It has the following benefits:

  • Increases speed of recovery from injury or surgery
  • Improves quality of movement and performance
  • Improves biomechanics and flexibility
  • Increases strength of muscles, tendons and ligaments
  • Increases endurance
  • Reduces pain
  • Improves balance and proprioception
  • Aids weight loss
  • Increases quality of life and a sense of wellbeing
  • Prevents future injury through tissue strengthening

The following conditions can benefit from rehabilitation

  • Elbow:
    • Elbow dysplasia
    • Arthritis
    • Recovery from fractures
  • Hip:
    • Hip dysplasia: management of early disease, management of arthritis from chronic disease, post-surgical recovery from Femoral Head Osteotomy (FHO) or Total Hip Replacement (THR)
  • Stifle:
    • Recovery from cruciate surgery
    • Patellar luxations: management of non-surgical grade disorders and for recovery post-surgery.
    • Arthritis
  • Shoulder:
    • Medial shoulder instability
    • OCD post-surgical recovery
    • Biceps tenosynovitis
    • Infraspinatus muscle contracture
    • Arthritis
  • Neurologic disorders:
    • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD): management of IVDD and post-surgical recovery
    • Lumbosacral instability (Cauda Equina Syndrome)
    • Peripheral nerve disorders
    • Radial and sciatic nerves
    • Trauma related
    • Degenerative myelopathy
    • Wobblers disease
    • Post spinal surgery
    • Recovery from Fibrocartilaginous Emboli (FCE)
    • Coon hound paralysis
    • Myasthenia gravis
    • Neuropathies related to endocrine disorders (e.g. diabetes, hypothyroidism)
  • Trauma related disorders:
    • Fractures of long bones
    • Physeal (growth plate) fractures
    • Stifle ligament trauma
    • Articular fractures (involving joints)
  • Quadicreps tie down
  • Polymyositis
  • Osteoarthritis in one or several joints
  • Obesity
  • Athletic dogs for conditioning: to increase strength, speed and co-ordination.
  • What are the modalities/exercises that are used?

    Neuromuscular electrical stimulation for strengthening ham string muscles
    Neuromuscular electrical stimulation for strengthening ham string muscles
    Therapeutic exercises, which may include the following:

    • Therapeutic exercises e.g cavalettis, stair climbing, physioballs.
    • Heat and cold therapy:
      • Heat decreases muscle spasm and pain, increases nerve conduction for improved function and reduces joint stiffness.
      • Cold decreases muscle spasm and pain, reduces swelling.
    • Massage: relieve muscle spasm and tension
    • Range of motion and stretching: aids joint flexibility, ability to weight bear appropriately and reduces pain
    • Neuromuscular stimulation: can help to build muscle mass where there is reduced limb use
    • Joint mobilisation
    • Tens: used for pain
    • Therapeutic ultrasound
    • Laser: assists with inflammation, oedema, pain and tissue repair
    • Use of assistive devices where required (slings, carts, braces, harnesses)

    What does it involve?

    An individualised physiotherapy programme is established for your dog or cat. We assess what limitations your pet currently has post surgery or injury, and plan what we need to do to return your pet to optimal function, over realistic time frames. There will be in clinic sessions to attend and exercises to do at home with your pet. Goals to work towards are established as it is important to ensure that the exercise and modalities used are doing what we want. These goals or outcomes may include: improved joint range of motion, gain in muscle mass on the affected leg and weight loss. Rehabilitation should be comfortable, fun and stimulating for dogs and cats. No session is the same, and a variety of exercise options are always given for physiotherapy at home.

    dog hydrotherapy Auckland
    physical rehabilitation dog Auckland
    Benny, the golden retriever getting cold therapy on his stifle following hydrotherapy.
    cold therapy dog Auckland