Pet Rehab FAQ's
Can canine rehab help a pet recovering from surgery?
Yes! During rehab we use "modalities" such as LASER and TENS to decrease pain after surgery. Gentle manual therapy such as passive range of motion helps restore mobility when it becomes appropriate to do so. Targeted therapeutic exercises help your pet return to weight-bearing quickly and build strength so he/she can resume favorite activities safely without re-injury.
How soon after surgery should my dog receive rehab?
It can vary depending on procedure, but often rehab can help decrease pain during the immediate post-operative period. More extensive rehab (such as therapeutic exercise) can be started once the surgeon feels comfortable with your dog's progress. Collaboration between the surgeon and your rehab therapist helps ensure a good outcome.
My dog is weak in her hind limbs. Is she just getting old? Can rehab help?
Weakness in the hind limbs, along with muscle atrophy, difficulty rising, and decreased mobility can have many different causes--and sometimes more than one in the same patient! For example, if your dog has spine (back) pain and also arthritis in a hip or knee, you can imagine how that could cause all of the above signs. Although more common in older dogs, even young to medium aged dogs can suffer from these conditions. The good news is that rehab therapy can greatly help these pets by decreasing pain, increasing strength and improving mobility.
My dog is limping. What should I do?
There are many reasons for front or rear leg lameness in dogs. The first step is to visit your regular veterinarian who will examine your pet and very likely recommend x-rays to try to determine the source of the lameness. Common problems include ligament tears within your dog's knee or arthritis in a hip, knee, shoulder or elbow joint.
How do I know if my dog is in pain?
Lameness (unwillingness to bear weight on a front or hind limb) means it hurts! Our dogs are often stoic and don't tell us (via crying/whimpering) that they are uncomfortable. Becoming reluctant to jump into the car or onto the sofa, struggling to rise from a prone position, slowing down on walks can all be more subtle signals—versus obvious limping—that your dog is experiencing discomfort. More about symptoms on our Why Rehab page.
My veterinarian says my dog needs surgery. Can I do rehab instead?
Just like with us humans, each dog is an individual. In some cased rehab can resolve a problem enough to achieve a client's goals (e.g., be able to walk around the block without limping). However if the goal is to have your dog be able to chase a ball or hike 5 miles, rehab alone may not achieve the desired outcome.
What are your hours? How do I schedule an appointment? Can I drop my dog off for an appointment?
We are available both on weekdays and Saturdays by appointment. Just call us at 425.892.0476 or email us at: . Plan on leaving your pet with us, as therapy appointments last 1-2 hours. You can click here to email us right now.
Do I need to bring my dog’s records, x-rays, or bloodwork from my regular vet?
Your regular vet can usually email us your pet's records. We work closely with your dog's "general practitioner" so we are fully aware of any underlying medical conditions
How long is a typical appointment? What's included in the visit?
Appointment times vary, but usually fall between 1-2 hrs. Your dog's first visit will involve a comprehensive evaluation of his posture, gait, flexibility, range of motion, pain level, and associated "adaptive changes" in other parts of his body resulting from his primary injury or condition. Next we will develop a treatment plan and get started making your dog feel better with laser, manual therapy, TENS & PEMF. So this initial appointment will be the longest and may run to 2 hours. Most appointments run about an hour. However, as we said above, you should plan to leave your pet and return when the therapist either calls or texts you. (See our brochure PDF for rehab details.) Targeted therapeutic exercises will be incorporated into a Home Exercise Program so you can help your dog progress between rehab visits.
How do I arrange a house call?
Let us know if you prefer an in-home visit and we can discuss the details. We can usually work out a time and date that is convenient for both parties.
Will I be shown what I can do at home?
Yes. The Home Exercise Program (HEP) is critical to your pet's successful recovery. Using videos and instructional handouts, we make your dog's home therapy program easy and fun for you and your pet.
How often and for how long will my dog need to go for physical therapy?
Depending on your pet's problem and pain level, he may benefit from twice weekly visits initially. Then, monitoring his progress, we decide together when and how to taper off visits. Some patients with chronic conditions benefit from"maintenance" visits every 2-3 weeks long term. It all depends upon the patient.