Animal rehabilitation (physical therapy) started in the 60s when horse racing and other equine events became popular. More races meant more injured horses, and owners and trainers started out looking for rehabilitative vet services for their animals.
Canine physical therapy started to be very common in Europe in the Eighties and attention here in the U.S. began to grow 10 years or so later.
Nowadays, rehabilitation is the fastest expanding arm of veterinary medicine. You will find now 17 veterinary colleges in the U.S. providing guidance in canine rehabilitation, and more than 300 people were certified as therapists in 2008. The number of veterinary practices providing rehab services is as well growing quickly.
Among the key forces powering the growing demand for canine rehab services are dog owners with a knowledge of the advantages of physical therapy for their pets, and an expectation their neighborhood vet will have the ability to offer this kind of care.
The growing recognition of canine agility trials and sports such as Flyball are likewise adding to the need for physical therapy for dogs that compete.
Local and federal governments who make use of highly-trained service dogs are likewise understanding the benefits of rehab for their canine workers, including police and search and rescue dogs.
We’ve hardly scratched the surface of the possibilities of rehab to enhance the lives of dogs, however a brief list of the advantages of canine physical therapy includes:
- Improved rate of recovery from injury and surgery
- Enhanced functional abilities
- Weight loss support
- Pain reduction
- Improved strength and range of motion
- Performance improvement of athletic dogs
- Better quality of life
The objective of physical therapy is to assist the patient, no matter whether human or canine, gain back functional ability, enhance movement of all body parts, and enhance quality of life.
In case you have a dog that has gone through surgery, for instance, the role of rehabilitation and specifically water therapy could prove priceless.
Research shows your pet’s muscles will start to atrophy in a matter of a day or two after an injury or surgery. When rehab isn’t started right away, the region of the wound or injury will exhibit increased swelling as a result of insufficient movement.
There can also be decrease of muscle control, diminished stability in joints, and greater stiffness of tendons and muscles.
Normal weight-bearing actions that would arrest and reverse these conditions frequently cannot be made possible for weeks postoperatively. However your dog can commence physical therapy in a pool immediately.
Underwater treadmills are a fantastic manner to take advantage of your injured pet’s natural functional activities such as walking, trotting and running. An underwater treadmill makes use of your dog’s natural gait patterns which will help enhance his range of motion after an injury or surgery.
Simultaneously, the water offers gentle resistance, which will help build and sustain his muscle strength.
Here’s an awesome video of Duncan Lou Who having physical therapy. As many of you know by now, this puppy only has two front legs. To keep his body in the best condition possible he partakes in physical therapy, massage therapy & hydrotherapy to relieve the excess stress on his joints, muscles and spine: