Like us, our pets may need help in the form of physical rehabilitation to recover from aches, pains, and mobility issues caused by injury, disease, or simple aging.
The Rehabilitation and Mobility Service at NC State University’s Veterinary Health and Wellness Center provides the rehabilitative, fitness, and pain management services that alleviate or lessen discomfort and improve activity levels in dogs, cats, and other small animals.
Rehabilitation benefits pets with orthopedic and neurologic conditions, arthritis and pain management needs, and weight management issues. In addition to outpatients, rehabilitation and mobility specialists support the recovery of surgery and medical patients from the Randall B. Terry, Jr. Companion Animal Veterinary Medical Center.
Rehabilitation can decrease pain, lessening the need for pain for medications, while improving healing time and recovery rate. Specific benefits include:
- 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.
Available treatments include:
- 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),
All rehabilitation and mobility patients receive a full assessment and a treatment plan based on individual needs, level of function, and owner and clinician expectations. Pet owners may contact the Rehabilitation and Mobility Service directly or may be referred by the family veterinarian.