Rehabilitation Exercise Programs

Canine rehabilitation requires great skill, problem-solving abilities and knowledge. Fancy equipment is a luxury, not a necessity! The greatest asset for an effective rehabilitation exercise program is an educated therapist, which we’re proud to have at 4Paws Rehabilitation & Wellness Clinic.

Rehabilitation exercises are meant to restore a patient’s maximal functional capacity as permitted by the muscles, tissues and structures. As these components ultimately combine to permit function, each must be examined thoroughly before any treatment begins so we can develop an accurate prognosis and determine the progression of treatment over time. Exercise programs at 4Paws Rehabilitation & Wellness Clinic are specially designed for each individual pet and their specific needs.

When you first inquire about rehabilitation exercises for your pet, a 4Paws therapist will conduct a rehabilitation therapy exam. This exam will focus on identifying functional limitations (inability of the body to perform a needed task) and disabilities (inability to perform routine actions, tasks, behaviors or activities). Then, we will determine the interventions, exercises and/or treatments that will best address our primary concerns, and together, we’ll set reasonable and attainable goals for your pet.

Therapeutic exercise programs focus on:

  • Proprioception and balance (cavalettis, wobble boards, balance discs, physioballs), which are important for puppies, athletes and neurologically impaired patients.
  • Weight shift training (box stands, ramps), which is often used in postinjury and postoperative rehabilitation programs. It helps train the patient to use the affected limb again and encourages them to use appropriate weight distribution during daily activities.
  • Muscle strengthening (uphills, downhills, stands, ramps, physioballs), which can pinpoint an isolated muscle, limb or body region.
  • Re-education of normal posture (tunnels, crawling, balancing), which addresses standing and sitting postures as well as the transitions between them.
  • Gait training (cavalettis, walks), which helps patients that aren’t properly using one or more limbs or that have developed abnormal gait behaviors or patterns.

Priorities will depend on the goals set by you and your pet’s therapist.