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Veterinary Rehabilitation (or Pet Rehab) is an emerging field of veterinary medicine which is used to improve your pets physical recovery, fitness and mobility. It can also be used to aid in weight loss and athletic conditioning. Much of the focus is on soft tissue and working with the tissue around bones and joints to gain better movement.


Function is the primary goal of treatment and therapies are centered on optimising movement and obtaining the best quality of life for your pet. As such, part of the in-depth evaluation we provide is a discussion about your primary concerns, what the lifestyle of your pet was like before injury and what kinds of things you would like to achieve for your pet.

Another part of the evaluation is examining your pets entire body. Often we will find other areas of pain or soft-tissue abnormalities which also need to be treated in addition to the primary problem. Comprehensive measurements to precisely record the range of motion of the joints and muscle circumference are also used to objectively evaluate progress and ensure that your pet is responding to treatment.

Treatment options vary depending on your pet's conditions and will always be tailor-made for your pet. They often include a combination of manual therapies including joint mobilisation, therapeutic stretches and balance exercises. We also utilise special equipment to keep the exercises progressing such as Physioballs, therapy bands, wobble boards and Cavaletti poles. Massage and acupuncture are also used to aid in muscle recovery, pain relief and the deactivation of trigger points.

But treatment does not finish at your visit. Your Rehab Veterinarian will discuss with you home exercises that you can do to ensure that your pet continues to progress in their recovery. These exercises will always be adjusted to fit your routine at home and what you feel comfortable doing with your pet.


Dr Laura Dougan

Dr Laura is a qualified Veterinarian with over 14 years experience, in which time she developed a particular interested in the treatment of chronic pain and the effects of muscle and joint injuries in pets. Further study in the area of physical therapy led to the completion of the Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner course through the University of Tennessee. 

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