Altadena Valley Animal Clinic

Rehabilitation Services That Make A Difference

Case Study: Troy

  • 13-year-old mixed breed
  • Surgical repair of his left rear cranial cruciate ligament (often referred to as ‘ACL’ in people) was performed 5 years ago. Troy also has arthritis in his shoulders, elbows and lumbar spine (lower back). 
  • Post-operatively, Troy’s therapy focused primarily on regaining normal strength and function in his injured left leg in order to reduce the risk of a ligament tear also occurring in his other leg. Cold laser therapy was used frequently to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with the injury, as well as to speed up surgical healing time. ​
  • Demonstrated exercise: dynamic rear limb stability exercise using a balancing disc. This exercise helps Boone improve his coordination on an uneven surface, while also providing a workout to the muscles of his rear limb. 
  • Boone loves ending his therapy sessions with cold laser treatment, which is used to decrease inflammation and pain.

Altadena Valley Animal Clinic

Troy Performing Figure 8 Exercises

Boone Wearing Assisi Loop.

  • Troy’s current physical therapy regime consists of low impact exercises aimed at maintaining mobility and muscle memory while reducing extra unnecessary strain on his arthritic joints. Walking Troy through various terrains, such as on grass, gravel and shallow water encourages increased flexion and extension of his joints, while also aiding in his motor and sensory nerve function. 
  • At the end of his therapy sessions, Troy loves his full-body massages that help loosen muscle knots and tightness that occur as a result of his arthritis. 

Troy Performing Cavaletti/StepOver Exercises

Case Study: Boone

  • 3-year-old mixed breed
  • Amputation of his left rear leg after irreparable trauma as a puppy. 
  • Initially had physical therapy to increase his muscle mass and regain balance and stability on three legs  
  • Now has physical therapy in order to maintain muscle mass to prevent injury to his remaining rear limb, as well as to strengthen his forelimbs. He also receives treatment such as thermal therapy and massage therapy to relieve back pain associated with his altered gait. ​

Over the years, medical advancements in pet care have made our furry friends healthier and happier. Whether it’s a simple dental cleaning or major surgery, our pets have more and better medical options than in years past. 

Even in the field of physical therapy (PT), traditional methods combined with state-of-the-art advancements are providing unique options to help pets with a variety of soft tissue, orthopedic, and neurologic conditions. Here are two examples of how PT has helped Dr. Foster’s pets, Boone and Troy.

The above modalities are used in conjunction with recommended dietary supplements, medications, and/or diet plan based on your individual pet. Each physical therapy treatment plan will also incorporate at-home exercises, allowing you to play an active role in your pet’s recovery. 

If you think your pet may benefit from physical therapy, please call the clinic at 967-7383 to set up a consultation and evaluation with our team. We would love to help your furry friend live a pain-free and active life!

Physical Therapy For Pets

Cavaletti’s/Step Over exercise: using exercise cones and rails, also known as Cavaletti’s, allows for increased joint flexion and extension, as well as improving coordination. 

 Figure 8 exercise: This exercise is used to increase spinal mobility, weight-bearing on each limb, and create limb awareness. 

Canine rehabilitation often referred to as physical therapy, can be beneficial for a variety of soft tissue, orthopedic, and neurologic conditions. Physical therapy is useful for temporary recovery from an injury, surgery, or for management of chronic conditions. It can also be used to facilitate weight loss in overweight patients. A unique treatment plan is developed for each pet based on their condition, age, and other important health factors. There are a variety of exercises and modalities used in physical therapy. As your pet gains strength, their treatment plan is modified to include more challenging exercises. 

Services available at Altadena Valley Animal Clinic
•    Therapeutic exercises incorporate the use of stability physioballs and other dynamic stability surfaces, exercise cones, Cavaletti rails, stairs/inclines, and shallow water therapy
•    Cold laser/therapeutic laser - Therapeutic lasers use low wavelength light to decrease inflammation, treat pain, and quick wound healing. Laser therapy is offered in-clinic for post-operative treatment, single-use or multi-treatment packages. 
•    Assisi Loop - a portable, easy-to-use device that uses targeted pulsed electromagnetic fields to accelerate healing and reduce pain and inflammation. The Assisi Loop can be purchased from the clinic for at-home use and is safe to use in conjunction with laser therapy performed in-clinic. The Assisi Loop is a great way to continue your pet’s healing at home in between therapy sessions.