Business Spotlight: Veterinary Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy

By Mandi BlackwelderBentley Fleming

Rehabilitation and physical therapy is a new and burgeoning field in veterinary medicine. For anything that a human should have physical therapy – knee injuries, elbow injuries, tendonitis, arthritis, neuropathy, back surgery, etc. – animals deserve to have as well. If you had knee surgery and your surgeon said, “now go home, go to bed and only get up to use the bathroom for the next 6-8 weeks,” it would be malpractice! Yet in veterinary medicine, it used to be the norm.

Not anymore!!

Just like in human medicine, veterinary physical therapists are there not only to do exercises, but also be a weekly source of support during the period of recovery. It’s hard to keep a good dog down – and veterinarians who choose this field are specialists in knowing not only how to repair your dog, but also how to keep you sane while doing it. If your dog had surgery on his back and he’s relearning to walk, having someone to help you with the day to day trouble shooting is half the battle: getting him to the bathroom, keeping him supported, making sure he doesn’t hurt his skin as he scoots, fitting him for wheelchair if needed and so much more. In addition, other modalities like therapeutic laser, acupuncture, massage, therapeutic ultrasound and underwater treadmill are used to enhance healing even faster and more comfortably than exercises alone.

To find a veterinary rehabilitation practitioner, look for CCRP (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner) or CCRT (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist) after their credentials of DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine). These vets have extensive training beyond being a veterinarian, specifically in the field of rehabilitation and sports medicine.

Call and ask the clinic if they practice fear free techniques (this is good advice for any veterinary office too). Fear free practices work hard to make sure the experience is peaceful and enjoyable for human and dog alike. Great rehab plus a peaceful experience means that your dog’s (cats too) recovery will be more successful, less stressful, and create a better long-term recovery.

For more information please contact Healing Arts Animal Care 971-703-3303, 14385 SW Allen Road, Beaverton,