May 23 2016

When Osteoarthritis Slows Your Pet Down, Rehab Revs Her Back Up!

Osteoarthritis notice with woman hugging senior dog

Ever notice how your dog seems to know when you’re not feeling well? They stay by your side, comforting you in their own special way. So when you see that your dog doesn’t have as much spring in their step, has trouble with the stairs — even sitting or standing — that’s their way of letting you know all is not well for them. They need your help.

Your dog could be suffering from osteoarthritis. This degenerative joint disease is common in dogs. According to the Canine Health Foundation, 1 in 5 dogs suffer from it. Osteoarthritis is also prevalent in cats. It typically occurs as pets age, but to know for sure, a diagnosis is needed. A physical exam can better identify symptoms such as a decreased range of motion and stiff or deformed joints, accompanied with pain and swelling. The good news is osteoarthritis is just one of the many medical conditions that can be treated with physical rehabilitation.

Flannery is one of the few animal hospitals in the region that have Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioners (CCRP). They are specially trained and work with a variety of programs designed to help increase range of motion, endurance, strength, and flexibility.

  • Hydrotherapy: We use an underwater treadmill. As your dog walks, water creates resistance while the buoyancy of the water helps reduce stress on joints. The result is improved muscle tone and range of motion.
  • Therapeutic Exercises: Your pet can strengthen their core and balance in addition to improving range of motion and helping with weight bearing on their hind limbs. All are helpful in treating degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis.
  • Laser Therapy: This painless process can relieve the pain of osteoarthritis within a few sessions. It’s a non-invasive procedure that uses light, creating a biochemical and photochemical effect on cells. There are no side effects and the benefits are numerous; reducing pain and inflammation, accelerating tissue repair and cell growth, promoting healing, and improving circulation and nerve function. The sessions last from a few minutes to an hour.

Don’t ignore those signs of your dog or cat slowing down. There is relief from osteoarthritis. Give our office a call today to schedule your pet’s osteoarthritis exam at 845-565-7387.

flannery | Blog

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