Canine physical rehabilitation therapy is the treatment of an injury, illness, or post-surgical care for dogs to decrease pain and restore function and mobility. In canine rehabilitation therapy, we look at the entire animal, focusing not only on the obvious problem, but the compensatory issues that develop as a result of the initial problem. The owner, pet and physical therapists will form a dynamic team engaged in improving the quality of life of the pet and keep them fit, active, and pain free.

Dr. Waite, our rehabilitation therapist offer the following services for your pet:

  • A full comprehensive evaluation with musculoskeletal and neurological assessment.
  • Acupuncture
  • Hydrotherapy in an underwater treadmill
  • Manual Therapies (Joint Mobilizations, Massage, Myofascial Tissue Release…)
  • Cold Laser Therapy
  • Customized therapeutic home exercise and activity program to treat your pets condition
  • Alternative Pain Management
  • Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation and TENS Therapy
  • Therapeutic Ultrasound
  • Cryotherapy / Heat Therapy
  • Splinting, Bracing, Orthotic and Prosthetic Fittings
  • Wheelchair Fittings
  • Sports Physicals with Strength and Fitness Training

Physical Therapy Treatments Available

Acupuncture – How Does Veterinary Acupuncture Work?

The goal of acupuncture is to promote the body to heal itself. Veterinary acupuncture enhances blood circulation, nervous system stimulation, and the release of anti-inflammatory and pain relieving hormones. Acupuncture involves the insertion of needles into body tissue where nerve bundles and blood vessels come together. These collections of nervous and vascular tissue are termed acupuncture points.


We use a temperature controlled underwater treadmill for patients who can benefit from low-impact exercise or to help gain mobility and motor function in patients with neurological conditions. Overweight and post-surgical patients can gain strength and movement using the buoyancy and resistance of the water.

Therapeutic Exercise & Activity

Passive and active exercises and activities are performed to improve functional mobility and strength in our patients. A specific program of these exercises and activities will be prepared for your pets’ individual needs. As your pet progresses they are re-evaluated and exercises and activities are modified to accomplish new goals and achieve a higher level of function.

Cold Laser Therapy

Cold laser therapy is a noninvasive procedure that uses light to stimulate cell regeneration, increase blood circulation and promote healing. Cold laser therapy can treat acute and chronic injuries, sprains and strains, arthritis, musculoskeletal abnormalities and also helps to regenerate nerve tissue after surgery.

Manual Therapy (Joint Mobilization)

This is a technique that was adopted from human physical therapy where joints are mobilized in specific ways to restore range of motion and function.

Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES)/Transcutaneous Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulation (TENS)

This technique uses a low level current that facilitates a muscle contraction and helps to decrease swelling. It is very beneficial for neurological and orthopedic patients to prevent or treat muscle wasting due to disuse. NMES also aids in controlling muscle spasms and in decreasing pain.

Therapeutic Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a safe and effective method of stimulating the tissue beneath the skin’s surface using high frequency sound waves. Some conditions where therapeutic ultrasound is used are muscle spasms, chronic inflammation, restricted range of motion, and musculoskeletal pain.

Canine Physical Therapy FAQ

Why is physical therapy important?
The benefits of physical therapy in humans has had a proven track record of success. Following any injury, orthopedic surgery, or after a neurologic event, rehabilitation starts almost immediately to help regain full function in humans. The same can be held accurate for pets. Our main objectives are to restore function, improve performance, accelerate healing, and decrease pain as well as preventing orthopedic and soft tissue injuries by gaining and maintaining fitness.

What kind of conditions do we treat?
We can help with most orthopedic, soft tissue, neurological and general dysfunction.

Orthopedic – Osteoarthritis, Tendon / Ligament Injuries and Repairs, Post Operative Cases, Muscle Strains / Contractures, Luxating Patellas, Hip & Elbow Dysplasia, Sports Injuries, Fracture Repairs, Osteochondritis Dessecans.

Neurological – Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), Wobblers Syndrome, Fibrocartilagenous Embolism (FCE), Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), Paresis / Paralysis, Neuropathies.

General Dysfunction – Chronic Pain, Decrease in Functional Ability, Non-Healing Wounds, Strength & Fitness, Obesity / Weight Reduction & Maintenance, Geriatric Mobility.

How can I tell if my pet is in pain?
There are several things to look for with your pet that may indicate they are experiencing pain:

  • Introversion or not seeking attention
  • Less activity or playfulness
  • Change in personality (more irritable or agitated)
  • Panting more often
  • Decrease in their appetite
  • Reluctance to go up or down stairs
  • Cats may stop grooming themselves
  • Falling or stumbling
  • Gait changes (limping or not bearing full weight)
  • Please look at our feline pain scale and dog pain scale pages

What Can Veterinary Acupuncture Do for My Dog or Cat?

  • Veterinary acupuncture stimulates the release of the body’s own pain relieving and anti-inflammatory substances.
  • Relaxation of muscles at the site of needle insertion and more distant locations body is achieved with veterinary acupuncture treatment, creating both a local and generalized pain relieving effect.
  • Veterinary acupuncture improves tissue blood flow, oxygenation, and removal of metabolic wastes and toxins.
  • Unlike prescription and over the counter pain medications, veterinary acupuncture has minimal adverse side effects for your pet’s internal organs.
  • Your pet’s medications or supplements will not adversely interact with veterinary acupuncture treatment; therefore it can safely be used to treat a variety of illnesses.