Canine Physical Therapy
Treatment & Physical Therapy for Dogs
During your dog's treatment at Phoenix Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center, they will receive targeted treatments and rehabilitative therapies in a comfortable and relaxed environment, using advanced physical therapy techniques to help them recover from injury, illness or surgeries.
From manual therapeutic techniques to low-impact aquatic therapies, our veterinary center is fully equipped to develop and offer a completely customized treatment plan, tailored to your dog's condition and physical needs.
What to Expect During Canine Physical Therapy & Treatment
Our highly experience canine physical therapist and therapy and rehabilitation team will create a custom treatment plan for your dog. A course of therapeutic treatment can include a combination of treatments, medications and exercises.
We will determine the best therapies based on your pet's condition, capabilities and specific requirements.
Treatment & Therapy Options
The customized physical rehabilitative programs we offer to dogs can consist of a number of different therapeutic techniques, including:
- Therapeutic Physical Exercise
Therapeutic physical exercise is the cornerstone of any great physical rehabilitation program.
A number of exercises may be applicable to different cases and conditions and may offer significant benefits to your pet. With targeted physical exercises, we can:
- Prevent or reverse osteoporosis
- Increase circulation
- Improve muscle mass and strength
- Improve cartilage and ligament health
- Reduce obesity
- Decrease pain
- Improve flexibility and range of motion
- Improve balance and senses
- Improve function and mobility
- Increase endurance and stamina
- Aquatic Therapy
Aquatic therapy is a low-impact physical therapy treatment that can help your dog to improve their strength, endurance, range of motion and more.
Water's buoyancy helps to minimize the amount of weight your dog will place on their joints while undergoing this treatment, helping to reduce the chances of pain, inflammation or injuries resulting from their exercises.
Aquatic therapy is appropriate for:
- Overweight patients
- Neurological conditions
- Post-operative orthopedic procedures
- Osteoarthritic patients
Aquatic therapy can involve either swimming or walking on an underwater treadmill. The size of the tank your dog will exercise in and the specific exercises will be tailored to their needs.
Our therapy team will help determine which is most suitable based on your pet's condition.
- Manual Techniques
Manual therapy techniques either involve massaging, stretches, joint mobilizations and passive range of motion exercises enacted on your dog by our vets.
These are all important components of any rehabilitation program and can help alleviate pain, increase circulation, promote relaxation and improve tissue extensibility.
- Hot/Cold Therapy
We use superficial hot and cold applications in addition to other treatments.
Often therapeutic aids like hot or cold packs are applied before or after exercise in order to increase the extensibility of your dog's tissue.
They can also promote relaxation, relieve pain, increase circulation, and minimize inflammation.
- Therapeutic Ultrasound
Therapeutic ultrasound can help to improve your dog's mobility and promote the health of their soft tissues. It reduces scar tissue and enhances the repair of the bone structure by providing thermal and non-thermal mechanical stimulation.
This promotes the healing of tissue (muscles, tendons, joint capsules, ligaments) and bones.
During the ultrasound, a pulsed or continuous sound wave can be applied using varied heads to determine the depth of sound wave penetration. Depending on the tissue and condition, the intensity of the treatment may also be adjusted.
Several conditions respond well to this treatment, including:
- Muscle contracture
- Muscle strains
- Calcified tendons
- Fracture healing
- Ligament sprains
- Chronic synovitis
- Neuronal Adjustment
Veterinary Neuronal Adjustment (VNA) can be used to treat a number of diseases in dogs.
With this kind of therapy, we are able to treat defects in your dog's joints that may be causing them serious neurological pain that may not appear on x-rays.
With VNA, we correct nerve dysfunction by using gentle force to reset the joint, so the nerves can function again, internal organs receive proper blood flow, and many diseases are resolved.
Using a small electrical stimulator, we are able to treat pain and slow macular degeneration using electricity,
Micro-stimulation has an accumulative effect and can be used to treat pain disorders, neurological dysfunction, sprains, spasms and strains, and post-operative pain and scars.
- Myofascial Release
A breakdown of the connective tissue surrounding the bones, muscles, nerves, organs and blood vessels in your pet's body—also called the fascia—can happen as a result of inflammation, posture or trauma.
By using a gentle, non-invasive technique called myofascial release, we can ease and alleviate pain within your dog's body.
Dog Physical Therapy FAQs
Read some of the most frequently asked questions we get about our canine physical therapy services. Or, contact us to ask a different question.
- Why does my dog need physical therapy?
Physical therapy can be a critical part of your dog's recovery, whether that be from an injury, surgery, chronic pain, neurological condition or other circumstance.
With customized physical therapy and rehabilitative treatment planning, we are able to focus on treating your pet's pain while prioritizing their goals. These may include improving your dog's stamina, balance, coordination or range of motion.
All of these are conducive to healing, with the goal of ensuring your pup feels their best and that the two of you get to spend many more years together.
- What conditions can physical therapy be used to treat?
Physical therapy can be used to treat a wide range of conditions your dog may have, such as:
- Spinal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Disc disease (IVDD)
- Chronic pain
- Recovery after major surgery (hip surgery, cruciate repair, limb amputation, etc.)
- Who will be working with my pet?
Dr. Sarah Taubenberger is our Canine Physical Therapy specialist at Phoenix Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center. She is highly trained in working with dogs in order to manage their pain and promote their mobility and recovery.
She helps your four-legged friends maintain the highest possible quality of life through both rehabilitative techniques and exercises.
- How long will my pet need to attend physical therapy?
Depending on your dog's condition and an assessment from our veterinary specialists, we will be able to determine your pet's unique needs and physical therapy requirements. This includes the duration of their treatment.
- What can I do at home to achieve the best results possible from physical therapy?
Depending on your dog's condition and requirements, at-home exercises may help promote healing and progress in physical therapy.
Always consult your veterinarian and/or therapy team on if and when at-home exercises should be part of your dog's treatment, and which ones would be helpful.
New Patients Welcome
At Phoenix Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center, we are accepting new patients and referrals for our emergency and specialty services. Our team of experienced veterinary specialists are passionate about the health and well-being of pets in the Phoenix area. Contact us today to inquire about appointments or find out about the referral process.