woofreport.com reports that rehab options for dogs (and even cats) is one of the fastest growing segment in veterinary medicine, with over 300 certified veterinary practitioners in business across the country.
Using skilled techniques for joint mobilization and therapeutic stretches and exercises, canine rehab helps dogs manage pain and increase mobility. Diagnostic services, such as ultrasound, as well as laser and electric stimulation treatment options are generally available as are specialized tools to help increase dogs’ strength and coordination and maximize muscle flexibility. Typical canine rehab tools include Cavaletti poles, rocker/wobble boards, physioballs, therapeutic pools and hydrotherapy.
Who Needs Canine Rehab?
With so many medical advances available to pet patients today and increasing public awareness about canine rehabilitation, the demand has skyrocketed. This coupled with the increase in canine agility participation and the benefits of therapy for service dogs helped spur growth. But canine rehabilitation isn’t only for doggie athletes and working dogs. Pet dogs recovering from surgery or injuries and those managing long-term mobility issues also benefit greatly from rehab services.
Who Can Practice Canine Rehab?
Today 17 veterinary colleges offer specialization programs in canine rehabilitation. But one doesn’t need to be a licensed vet to practice it. Though this proves to be a heated topic between the AVMA and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), at the present time both groups certify canine rehabilitation practitioners – the AVMA certifying only licensed veterinarians, the AMPA allowing human physical therapists to receive canine rehabilitation certifications.
Many pet insurance companies now cover physical rehabilitation when it’s prescribed by a veterinarian and takes place in a veterinary clinical setting. Since canine rehabilitation can often successfully manage conditions previously only rectified by surgery, it can actually help decrease veterinary costs.