Small Animal Services: Rehabilitation and Mobility

The NC State Rehabilitation and Mobility Service at the Veterinary Health and Wellness Center offers a wide range of rehabilitative, fitness and pain management services to treat dogs, cats, and other small animals.

Rehabilitation benefits many pets, including those with orthopedic and neurologic conditions (both post surgical and non surgical),those with arthritis and pain management needs, canine athletes, and pets needing help with weight management.

In addition to our inpatient and outpatient services, we provide continuity of care for our tertiary postoperative and medical patients, helping and assisting owners in the transition of their pet from hospital to home.

All patients seen by the Rehabilitation and Mobility service receive a full assessment and an individualized treatment plan based upon the patient’s needs and level of function, coupled with owner and clinician expectations.

Dr. Cory Sims works with a dog at VetMed. Photo by Marc Hall

Learn About Our Service:

Service Overview

Services We Offer

  • Land and underwater treadmill exercise
  • Massage and laser therapy
  • Cryotherapy and heat therapy
  • Range of motion exercises, stretching, and massage
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES)
  • Therapeutic exercise
  • Gait training/proprioceptive patterning
  • Therapeutic ultrasound
  • Evaluation and measuring for mobility aids (carts, orthotics, prosthesis)
  • Acupuncture

Benefits of Rehabilitation

Physical rehabilitation utilizes a variety of treatment modalities and exercises to help:

  • Improve function, strength and range of motion
  • Achieve a faster and more complete recovery following an injury
  • Improve endurance and agility
  • Increase mobility after a severe orthopedic or neurologic injury
  • Improve and prolong quality of life
  • Achieve weight loss in overweight and obese animals
  • Decrease pain and swelling
  • Provide ambulation assistance to patients who need carts, orthotic devices, or prostheses

Conditions We Treat

Some of the most common conditions we treat are:

  • Postoperative cases (e.g. total hip replacement, cranial cruciate ligament repair, spinal surgery)
  • Neurological conditions (e.g. degenerative myelopathy, fibrocartilagenous embolism (FCE), spinal cord injury)
  • Traumatic injuries and intensive care cases
  • Wound healing
  • Geriatric conditions
  • Obesity
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain management

Did you know?

  • Decreasing pain through rehabilitation can decrease the need for medications.
  • Rehabilitation decreases healing time and increases recovery rate
  • Dogs can lose 1/3rd of the muscle mass in their rear leg after surgery for a ruptured cruciate ligament and it can take over a year to regain it.
  • Rehabilitation has positive psychological effects for both pet and owner.

Appointments, Referrals and Resources

Appointment Guidelines
The Rehabilitation & Mobility service is open to the general public and welcomes referral cases.

If you do not have a primary veterinarian you can search for one here: North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association

Additional resources may also be found at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine’s website.