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Michael Jordan may need physical rehabilitation but does my pet?

We have all heard about the great sport stars seeking out a physical therapist for injuries or for surgical recovery. After a series of visits and lots of hard work, they increase their mobility, strength and flexibility. Their continued athletic success is a testament to the efficacy of this therapy.

These restorative benefits of physical rehabilitation have become widely accepted and adopted in the animal care community as well and its growth in availability to pet owners has changed the focus in many veterinary practices to include preventive care as well as curative care.

Canine rehabilitation therapy is an adaptation of human physical therapy using the same techniques to prevent/treat conditions resulting from injury, obesity, disease and surgery that affect a pet’s mobility. Under the supervision of a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioners (CCRP) a pet’s quality of life can improve and their pain decrease.

Techniques used in our physical rehabilitation include thermotherapy, cryotherapy, hydrotherapy, cold laser therapy, core strengthening, muscle building exercises and coordination exercises, massage and much more. Each technique is used to increase function and mobility of joints and muscles, improve overall quality of life and decrease pain in animals.

Our CCRP’s are trained by the University of Tennessee and have decades of veterinary medical experience behind them. Our team will design a care plan that utilizes the appropriate techniques for your pet’s individual needs and teach you to continue care, when possible, in your own home.


Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapists (CCRT) are veterinarians or physical therapists (working directly under veterinarians) who have completed advanced training in canine rehabilitation. They typically complete an internship with a CCRT following their coursework. Only after completing all aspects of this rigorous training are they awarded certification. CCRTs must master:

  • Canine anatomy and physiology
  • Conditions and injuries commonly referred for rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy assessment techniques
  • Manual therapy
  • Physical modalities and therapeutic exercise
  • Neurological rehabilitation

The benefits of physical rehabilitation include:

  • Decreased pain
  • Increased circulation, strength, and endurance
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Enhanced post surgical recovery
  • Improved limb function
  • Enhanced healing of injured or inflamed tissue
  • Improved joint range of motion
  • Preventing muscle atrophy
  • Earlier return to activity
  • Weight control
  • Improved quality of life

Our therapists work in conjunction with board-certified specialists or your family veterinarian to provide rehabilitation, preventative care, and athletic conditioning for your best friend. Individualized and professionally guided programs are developed for each patient to address specific needs and circumstances.

Patients with chronic arthritis, soft tissue injuries, weight issues, neurologic conditions, and post-operative orthopedic patients may all benefit from rehabilitation. Rehabilitation services are also beneficial for general conditioning, cardiovascular fitness, and athletic conditioning.

Services offered include:

  • Water treadmill therapy
  • Cold laser therapy
  • Therapeutic ultrasound
  • Proprioceptive, balance, and coordination exercises
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Neuromuscular re-education
  • Athletic injury screening and prevention techniques
  • Custom home program development

VCA West Coast Animal Specialty and Emergency Hospital strongly believes in the triad of care. You, your family veterinarian, and your VCA West Coast therapist will become a team working together to provide your pet with the best possible care.

If you or your veterinarian believe your pet may benefit from a consultation with a CCRT, please contact us. Additional information is available http://ccrp.utvetce.com/

Our Rehabilitation Services

Physical Rehabilitation

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