Animal rehabilitation is the treatment of pets using non-invasive methods to improve comfort, strength, mobility, and quality of life. The goal of rehabilitation is to achieve the highest level of function, independence and quality of life possible for the patient. Physical therapy is an essential component to recovery in human medicine, and now pets can receive the same great care. Oaktree Veterinary Rehabilitation at Acorn Veterinary Clinic is a full-service veterinary rehabilitation clinic that accepts patient referrals from veterinarians and clinics throughout the region. We will work closely with your pet's primary care and specialty veterinarians to create a treatment program that is specific to your pet's needs, using therapies such as acupuncture, laser treatments, or hydrotherapy, to provide for a successful outcome. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for your injured, post-operative or senior pet. We are outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment and highly qualified staff to provide the best care for your beloved companion.
Initial evaluation - Your pet’s first appointment will consist of a comprehensive evaluation by Dr. Waka Blair and her staff. This evaluation will include an assessment of your pet’s joints, musculature, strength, pain, gait functional abilities, and more. Dr. Blair will then create a treatment plan designed to address your pet's specific needs. This treatment plan may utilize some or all of the following treatment modalities, based on need.
Water is a fabulous environment in which to exercise. The buoyancy and resistance of the water make an underwater treadmill a unique and safe method of rehabilitation allowing the strengthening of muscles and increasing flexibility while creating little pressure on the joints. The use of warm water helps to increase flexibility and mobility of muscles, tendons, ligaments that surround the joints as well as enhance circulation. It is quite common for an animal that is not using a limb on land to use it when walking in the water. They often use it in an exaggerated motion which adds to the therapeutic benefits of hydrotherapy. We can adjust variables of speed, duration of treatment and water level during each treatment to maximize our treatment plan.
Therapeutic laser, also known as “cold laser therapy,” “Class IV” laser and photobiomodulation has been shown to decrease inflammation and pain while speeding soft tissue healing. Laser therapy uses infrared energy to stimulate tissue repair and provide pain management in a non-invasive, painless way and does not require sedation or anesthesia. Laser therapy may alleviate muscle and joint discomfort, relieve symptoms of arthritis, relax muscle spasms and increase blood flow to an area, helping injuries to heal.
Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into specific points on a patient to produce a physiologic response. Stimulation of these points can lead to an increase in circulation, decrease in muscle spasm and modulation of pain. Acupuncture can treat both musculoskeletal and neurologic issues and is often used in conjunction with other therapies. Studies have shown that some of the physiological effects of acupuncture are pain relief, anti-inflammatory effects, antifebrile effects, immunoregulation and the promotion of tissue healing.
Manual Therapy can include a variety of techniques, including passive range of motion (PROM), joint mobilization and chiropractic. Manual therapies can be of great benefit to joints, allowing for greater movement and can also provide significant pain relief.
We evaluate each patient and design a set of exercises that are most effective in that patient’s rehabilitation. Exercises may be directed at helping the patient with strengthening specific muscles or stretching to increase flexibility or learning how to regain the feeling and use of a foot or limb. We demonstrate each activity in our hospital and teach our clients to perform these at home on a prescribed schedule. We try to incorporate the special needs and skills of patients and their families.
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy
PEMF therapy has been shown to reduce inflammation and accelerate tissue healing by enhancing the body's natural anti-inflammatory mechanism. This method utilizes external electromagnetic waveform to induce a current in the tissues to up-regulate the body's production of Nitric Oxide and stimulates the natural anti-inflammatory and healing actions in both soft tissues and bones. We are able to incorporate this treatment both at the clinic and in the patient's home.