Canine rehabilitation, dog physical therapy, physical rehabilitation: it doesn’t matter what you call it, it all means helping your dog be pain free, move better, and get stronger. It is a relatively new but quickly growing field in veterinary care especially for your canine companion. Rehabilitation is most commonly thought of after a surgery, to help manage post op pain, and help them return to being a dog. Those dogs absolutely benefit from a progressive program, but so do many other dogs. Those that are suffering from arthritis, general aging related difficulties, soft tissue injury can benefit greatly, and many can even benefit from rehab prior to surgery to help speed up their recovery.
Following a similar model to human physical therapy, the first goal is always pain management. You may think your dog is not in pain, but there are many subtle signs that say otherwise such as a subtle limp or favoring of one limb, panting, limited range of motion of a joint, tenderness around a joint or muscle, lack of desire to participate in running, jumping and other activities. A Certified Canine Rehab Therapist can help identify the location and involved tissues, as well as compensatory dysfunction, think tightness in the back and unaffected limb due to limping.