Before you can begin with treatments from animal physical therapists, you must take your pet in for a visit with the veterinarian first. This ensures that a proper assessment of the animal’s injuries is performed before any exercises are recommended. Without X-rays, bloodwork, or other important test results, the physical therapist will be less informed about what is within the limits of the animal’s movements.
In some cases, animals are given the option to stay at the treatment center until they are well. The therapist begins by assessing how they walk. If there are any abnormalities or limps, these areas are investigated. Having animals swim in a pool is a great low-impact exercise that can help them regain some strength in their legs and movement in their joints. Another benefit of swimming is that it helps the animal lose weight, if necessary.
Throughout the treatment, the physical therapists take note of each animal’s behavior. Whether they gain or lose energy, walk more as they get stronger, or seem happier overall are important qualities to notice. When they are convinced the animal has returned to an optimal state of health and no longer shows signs of misalignment or joint or muscle issues, they’ll be sent home with their owner!