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Physical Rehabilitation

IMG_4211Rehabilitation is the science of healing tissues suffering from pain, dysfunction or injury through the application of biomechanics, anatomy, physics and physiology.

The goal of rehabilitation is to promote the healing process as well as reduce or prevent the degeneration of tissues. This therapy results in stronger, healthier tissues that improve quality of life.

Pets that benefit the most from rehabilitation are those recovering from orthopedic injury/surgery, spinal injury/surgery, paralysis, and those suffering with neurological disease, cancer, arthritis, muscle atrophy or obesity.

Post surgical patients may be able to return to activities in a shorter amount of time. Those patients with more long term diseases and obesity may enjoy improved quality of life by becoming able to cope with everyday activities like managing stairs or chasing a ball.

Arthritic pets often experience a vicious cycle. The more pain and discomfort the animal is experiencing the less likely they are to exercise. Without exercise, cartilage, synovial fluid, muscles and joints become unhealthy. As this cycle progresses the pain increases and more arthritic changes occur. Exercise is needed to reduce the symptoms and severity of arthritis, reduce obesity, and maintain joint health, muscle strength and flexibility.

Scientific studies verify what we all know; animals live longer and better lives if they are not overweight. Additionally, the onset of chronic debilitating diseases was delayed up to 2.7 years over the overweight group. Weight loss and exercise will enable your older, arthritic dog to move more quickly and exert more force on their limbs. Movement with less stiffness and pain was observed in dogs as they lost weight and got in shape. Ten extra pounds of body weight will increase the forces on a dog’s joints by 40%.

Hydrotherapy is a great form of exercise for all animals. Hydrotherapy allows for fat burning exercises in a reduced weight bearing environment. Pets undergoing rehabilitation experience many benefits including increased joint range of motion, elasticity of muscles and ligaments, strength and decreased muscle spasms and pain. Exercise also releases endorphins which make the pet feel good and increases energy. The reduced weight bearing environment allows pets to exercise without experiencing excessive concussive forces on sore joints. The warm water relaxes the tissues and allows a full range of motion without pain. Water resistance builds and maintains muscle tone and improves cardiovascular function. The buoyancy of the water allows unsteady and weak animals to stand without falling.
Dr. Bob is a member of the American Society of Canine Rehabilitation. Each patient is evaluated on an individual basis and a treatment plan is formulated based upon the condition and needs of the pet.

Physical rehabilitation, physical conditioning and hydrotherapy are available with our Ferno underwater treadmill. Our Ferno treadmill was one of the first 50 units nationwide, while our rehabilitation department at SylvaniaVET is the only rehab department in NW Ohio . The underwater treadmill is incorporated into many of our physical rehabilitation programs. It provides us with a controlled environment that can be adjusted to the patient’s needs including water height, treadmill speeds and use of jets for added resistance.?The water is kept around 90° which keeps our patients comfortable.

The best way to purchase hydrotherapy sessions is to buy a package of 12 sessions. This reflects a discount of over 20% compared to buying individual sessions.