What is Rehabilitation?
Physical rehabilitation is the treatment of injury
or illness to decrease pain and restore function. A rehabilitation veterinarian
treats acute injuries soon after they have occurred and chronic injuries or
diseases that have been affecting your pet for a long time.
Rest alone after
injury usually does not relieve the problems caused by inflammation and spasm;
for example, a muscle in spasm cannot get adequate blood supply to heal. The
body adapts and protects the injured area long after healing has started. These
protective mechanisms alter movement of the whole musculoskeletal system and
increase strain on other areas. Rehabilitation should start as soon as possible
A rehabilitation-trained veterinarian is a muscle,
tendon, ligament, nerve and bone expert who uses physical medicine to restore
maximal function and relieve pain. Only a veterinarian can provide whole
body care, prescribe needed medicines and perform a diagnostic evaluation
prior to designing a treatment plan. Your pet will benefit from a close
team of clinicians with his or her best interests at heart.
When you and your pet first visit a rehabilitation
veterinarian, you will undergo an initial consultation. The doctor will take
a history asking detailed questions about your pet's lifestyle and your expectations.
Following this, they will perform a thorough physical examination of your pet.
The examination will include many measurements. A specific program will then
be designed to meet your pet's needs. Examples of treatments are listed on
the Conditions Treated page.
To look for an American Association of Rehabilitation
Veterinarians member near you, click on the Find
a Rehabilitation Veterinarian link.
courtesy of Rosemary J. LoGiudice, DVM, CCRT,
CVA, CVSMT, CAC, Integrative Pet Care /
Animal Rehabilitation & Therapy
Hanover Park and Chicago, IL