What To Expect

When should my dog begin physical rehabilitation for orthopedic surgery or injury?

For surgical cases and acute injury, we can begin as soon as your veterinarian or surgeon has released your dog for physical rehabilitation. In some cases, this may be as early as the day following surgery.

For chronic conditions and arthritis, it is best to begin before lasting physical and functional changes take hold. A good rule of thumb is to begin physical rehabilitation when your veterinarian prescribes joint health supplements and non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.

What are the goals of physical rehabilitation?Our primary goal is to help your dog regain normal or near normal function relative to the condition that is affecting them.

Can I be present for in-clinic sessions? Absolutely!  Rarely, will we ask that you leave your appointment.

Do dogs like physical rehabilitation?  YES!  Most dogs love their sessions after the initial introduction. We generally accompany most dogs in the underwater treadmill until we feel they are confident enough to do it on their own.  We have had many, many clients who know their dog will miss coming in after they complete a rehabilitation program. 

How do you get the dogs to do their exercises?  We always advocate positive reinforcement and choice of the dog to do the exercises.  For most dogs, food is a great motivator! We promise to never use force or fear during as a motivator for any physical rehabilitation session. Dogs that are too nervous often do well with home exercise programs.

What if my dog isn’t food motivated? In these cases we do what we can without the use of food reinforcement. 

When can my dog be allowed to be off leash after surgery or injury?  When compensation of stride (lameness) is not worsening with activity.