The field of animal rehabilitation—“PT for pets,” as we like to say—is remarkably advanced, offering myriad therapies and treatments to aid your dog or cat in achieving their recovery goals. Whether your furry friend is recovering from surgery, injury, or illness or working to retain mobility and strength as they age, Aqua Dog and Cat Rehabilitation has a solution.
Our highly trained staff will design a comprehensive treatment program for your dog or cat, based on input from the referring veterinarian or from our own independent assessment. The following therapies are the anchors of our practice. Each offers a different approach for relieving pain, building strength, facilitating movement, and preventing injury, making your pet happier, healthier, and better able to enjoy each day.
Water has been a proven treatment tool for humans throughout history, and its incredible healing abilities are just as powerful for animals. Exercising in water puts less stress on joints, builds muscles and improves core strength, increases metabolism, and can relieve pain, especially for pets suffering from arthritis and long-term illness. Our underwater treadmills are an integral component of rehabilitative therapy for many of our patients as they recover from surgery, injury, or work to regain mobility.
Dry needling is a technique used to decrease pain in a dog or cat’s musculoskeletal system. Our therapists target specific myofascial trigger points in the connective tissue (“fascia”) that surrounds your pet’s body, precisely inserting a needle to “deactivate” pain and restore the muscle to its optimal function. This highly effective therapy has very few side effects yet can have wonderful success in treating pets with acute and chronic pain or those recovering from injury. It also benefits animal’s vascular, immune, inflammatory, and neurological systems.
Commonly referred to as “e-stim,” electro-muscular stimulation is a useful treatment for dogs or cats who need focused muscular treatment to increase range of motion, improve muscle memory and strength, or stimulate nerves following paralysis. During this therapy, small electrodes placed on your pet’s skin emit a low electrical current to stimulate the nerves in a way that causes the muscle to contract. Our therapists often use e-stim to jump-start atrophied muscles, relax muscle spasms, or relieve pain.
Manual Therapy: Massage
You already know precisely where your pet loves to be rubbed, but pet massage elevates this hands-on healing to an art form. Our certified masseuses utilize manual therapy to move your pet’s joints and muscles in a beneficial way, lengthening muscles and improving both flexibility and range of motion. Massage is an invaluable method for reducing pain and increasing circulation. Its effects are transformative for patients in recovery as well as pets who need preventive stretching to avoid injury.
Manual Therapy: Myofascial Release
A subset of our massage therapy services, myofascial release is an extremely effective way to restore strained or injured muscle fibers to their properly functioning state. Our certified technicians will use manual therapy to ease pressure in the connective tissue (“fascia”) that surrounds the muscles in your pet’s body. By targeting the appropriate areas or trigger points, our masseuses can help these fascia return to their optimal position—making your dog or cat feel revived, re-energized, and much happier.
All dogs and cats can benefit from therapeutic exercise as a conditioning or preventive measure, but for those recovering from surgery, illness, or injury, it can be life-changing. Our veteran therapists will create a custom exercise program, utilizing the special equipment and tools in our gym, specific to your pet’s needs, focusing on strengthening the core, improving balance, and providing feel-good proprioceptive input. Have an aging or elderly pet? Therapeutic exercise can help increase range of motion, restore mobility, and re-energize your furry companion.
Laser therapy is a remarkable treatment that harnesses the power of light energy to stimulate cell regeneration and increase blood circulation without the need for surgery. Aqua Dog and Cat Rehabilitation often uses laser therapy to treat pets with acute tendon and soft-tissue trauma, chronic injuries like arthritis, or wounds. It is especially useful for reducing pain and inflammation and has been proven to speed the healing of ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the instance of sprains or strains. Is your pet suffering from back disc issues or musculoskeletal abnormalities? Laser therapy can help.
Therapeutic ultrasound stimulates body tissue beneath the skin’s surface through the use of high-frequency sound waves. The vibrations cause a deep-heating effect, which can enhance and facilitate healing in the treated area. Our therapists often use ultrasound therapy for dogs and cats to increase blood flow, reduce swelling, relax muscle spasms, and soften and break down scar tissue. This treatment is very successful with tendon and ligament sprains and strains as well as for reducing post-operative stiffness and allowing for deep stretching to regain range of motion.
Wheelchairs & Orthotics
Aqua Dog and Cat Rehabilitation is proud to provide fitting for pet braces, orthotics, carts, and wheelchairs. Which option is best for your pet? We will work with you to choose an ideal product, but essentially a brace holds an affected joint in the proper position for healing yet still allows your pet to bear weight on that limb. A cart or wheelchair is designed to provide your pet with mobility, support, and freedom while they heal (or in some cases, as a permanent mobility solution). We fit for two truly fantastic companies: My Pet’s Brace (Available only at Hodes Veterinary Group, satellite location), which makes braces, orthotics, and prosthetics for dogs and cats, and Eddie’s Wheels, which builds custom dog wheelchairs.