Almost any dog can benefit from physical rehabilitation.
Young dogs that have suffered injury or have congenital diseases such as hip or elbow dysplasia that routinely undergo rehabilitation therapy are less likely to be obese and develop secondary osteoarthritis.
Older dogs benefit from both the physical and mental stimulation of a rehabilitation program. We know that as dogs age they suffer from many of the same issues as humans such as osteoarthritis, loss of strength and range of motion, and propensity for injury. Rehab can help mitigate all of these conditions and more.
Agility dogs oftentimes will have chronic overuse injuries that can be alleviated with physical rehabilitation. This can result in further longevity of their careers, decreased pain, and improved performance.
Dogs with neuropathic disease such as intervertebral disc extrusion/compression show marked improvement in function with rehabilitation therapy. Rehab can help to “retrain” the neurons to shorten the duration and decrease recurrence of the disease.
Post-surgical rehabilitation is imperative for return to function following injury or trauma. For example, dogs with cranial cruciate ligament disease benefit greatly from cold laser therapy, manual therapy, and acupuncture to get them back on their feet after surgical correction.