Offered at our BluePearl pet hospital in North Seattle, rehabilitation services and exercises can help reduce pain and enhance return to function after surgery but can also be useful in pets who need to lose weight, pets with arthritis or pets with trauma that are not surgical candidates.
What is rehabilitation and physical therapy?
Rehabilitation procedures, such as the underwater treadmill, cold laser therapy and range of motion exercises, are frequently used on patients who are recovering from surgery or a traumatic injury as well as patients who are overweight or those with arthritis. These procedures help them slowly and safely build their strength.
What happens during a visit?
Initial consults are scheduled and include a thorough history and evaluation of muscle strength, joint flexibility, areas of discomfort and tightness. A detailed individualized plan will be created to help with at-home appropriate structured exercise as well as potential application of in-clinic exercises, laser therapy, electrical stimulation and use of the underwater treadmill.
When a patient steps into the underwater treadmill, the water level, treadmill speed and resistance are raised according to their specific needs. Our rehabilitation technician stands in the tank with them (for cats and smaller dogs) or just outside it (for larger dogs) and provides plenty of treats and encouragement throughout the process. At the same time, the patient’s gait is evaluated while walking through the water to help the doctor determine how recovery is going. Actual time spent on the treadmill varies depending on the pet’s condition with adjustments made along the way.
Patients brought in for cold laser therapy are provided with a comfortable bed to lay on and plenty of treats. Their owners are welcome to stay and watch as well. The laser therapy probe is about the size of a small flashlight and, once turned on, is moved slowly and methodically over the troubled areas. Our rehabilitation technician will adjust the speed of the probe and the area it covers as necessary depending on the size of the patient and the underlying medical concern. Patients do not feel anything and the entire process takes less than 10 minutes, with plenty of treats provided at the end as well.
Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy Services