What is equine and canine rehab ? No, it is not a support group for animal hoarders. It is physical therapy for our animals. Physical rehabilitation's main goals are to reduce pain and bring the body back to its normal function. That is why Acupuncture and Chiropractic Care work so well together. Acupuncture restores the pain and brings the body back into balance and chiropractic mobilizes the joints and restores the body's normal functions. We can also use manual therapies like tui na (meridian massage), passive and active range of motion and exercise. We teach many of these exercises to the caretaker so you can become a partner in your pet's recovery.
Whether the injury is acute, like an accident or post op, or chronic like arthritis or compensation from an old injury or poor conformation, a solid rehabilitation plan is the fastest way back to normal function and performance.
We all know that a weak core leads to lumbar pain, that is why Dr. Kyle sends his human patients home with core stabilization exercises and yoga moves. We design exercise programs for dogs and horses to help them develop these muscles too. For horses, the exercises can be done under saddle or in hand. For dogs, we do positional exercises and even use tiny cavalettis for strength and paw awareness. One big difference in core strengthening in animals is...they get to eat treats during exercise ! Think about that next time you are doing crunches.
People ask me, does my animal need rehab ? Well in a way yes, all animals need a baseline amount of exercise and a healthy diet, just like people to stay healthy well into their golden years. Many diseases are caused by a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, diabetes, tendon injuries because they lack the muscle to protect themselves in a stumble, even general stiffness or a poor gait. Did your older horse go from an 8 mover to a 6 ? Does your old lab not want to jump in the truck anymore ? Maybe its not just that he is old. Maybe he needs some help to keep his joints moving and muscles firing so you can keep enjoying the company of your best pal.