Our pets were born to walk, run, climb, and play. But without the ability to move comfortably due to an injury, illness, or after surgery their quality of life suffers. Fortunately, this is where sports medicine can help. Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation is the diagnostics and non-surgical management of canine lameness, injury prevention, conditioning, rehabilitation, and pain management. We help a wide spectrum of patients with various levels of mobility issues ranging from performance lameness of canine athletes to rehabilitation and pain management of osteoarthritis in older dogs and cats.
Surgery & Trauma Rehabilitation
Help your pets get back to the activities they love.
At Veterinary Acupuncture and Wellness Centre we offer a variety of non surgical treatment options to help your pet recover after injury and restore function to pre-injury performance levels.
Restoring your pet’s health after injury or surgery
Veterinary Rehabilitation (basically what we would call Physical Therapy, PT or Physio in people) aims to restore and improve fitness and function. While rehab is extremely beneficial for reducing inflammation and pain and aiding in return to normal function and performance after an injury it’s also a powerful tool to help prevent injury and optimize health, well-being, and performance.
Rehabilitation physiotherapy programs are structured to combine motor learning with progressive aerobic exercise (like Pilates for animals). Tasks are designed so the patient can be successful. As an experienced physical rehabilitation Veterinarian Dr Donna knows when to decrease the intensity of the training and when to increase it, since a too overwhelming process will more likely make a patient give up quickly. Small goals are set, then we keep expanding the goals as we meet the small ones. The programs include not only modalities performed in clinic, but also custom designed home exercises.
Rehabilitation exercises can improve strength, flexibility, balance and coordination and can slow progression of disease, leading to an enhancement in mobility and better quality of life for your pet. This therapy may also be taught to an owner during a demonstration session in order for the owner to provide the benefits of therapeutic exercise outside of the clinic.
How physical rehabilitation helps your pet
Physical rehabilitation can help pets in a variety of important ways:
After surgery, it can speed your pet’s recovery and lead to better surgical outcomes because it:
Enhances and expedites healing
Helps pets recover full range of motion
In pets with arthritis, it reduces pain and increases mobility
In pets with neurological conditions, it improves balance and coordination
In working and sporting dogs, it can help them reach and maintain optimal performance
In overweight or out-of-shape pets, it can enhance weight loss and improve overall conditioning
We offer a full range of physical rehabilitation modalities and leading-edge medicine.
Regenerative veterinary medicine is a breakthrough treatment option for traumatic and degenerative diseases in companion animals. It offers the potential to improve your pet’s quality of life so that you and your pet can enjoy many additional years of companionship. Dr Donna implements both Stem Cell Therapy & Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) Therapy.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cells are cells that have the ability to continuously divide to generate exact copies of themselves in a process called self-renewal and the ability to change into specialised cells in a process called differentiation. Stem cells are special in that they can differentiate into many different types of tissue including muscle, nerve, cartilage, bone, fat, liver and so on.
They occur naturally in the body and are drawn to areas which are damaged. They then quickly act to repair the damaged tissue. Studies have shown that these stem cells help repair damaged cartilage and bone tissue, decrease inflammation (and pain), heal damaged cells, prevent further cell deterioration and promote active tissue regeneration.
It’s a completely natural therapy – just the body healing itself with a little help from modern technology.
Stem Cell Therapy is used to treat arthritis and damage to orthopaedic soft tissue damage – (joints, ligaments, cartilage, tendons) and fractures.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) Therapy
Canine Platelet Rich Plasma offers a safe and natural cell therapy to relieve the pain of joint disease or injury, promote healing and reduce recovery time using your dog’s own blood. Platelets are a type of cell found in the blood. When an injury occurs or tissue is inflamed, platelets become activated and release growth factors (which, in turn, recruit stem cells) to promote healing.
Platelet rich plasma is derived from your dog’s own blood. A blood sample is taken, and the sample undergoes a rapid spinning process that concentrates the platelets and beneficial growth factors in the plasma portion of the blood. When injected into an arthritic joint, PRP stimulates healing of inflamed tissues and improves pain relief and function of the joint i.e. it uses the body’s own ability to regenerate and heal itself.
PRP therapy is typically recommended for patients suffering from Osteoarthritis or undergoing orthopaedic surgery.
Are there any Side Effects?
No side effects are known as the body’s own healing mechanisms are employed.
Therapeutic laser can be used to treat a myriad of conditions.
Laser therapy uses a beam of light to deeply penetrate tissue, absorbing into the cell without damaging it and inducing a response called “photo-bio-modulation,” which helps reduce pain. While treating the affected area, the laser light generates a feeling of gentle and soothing warmth.
How does laser light heal?
Healing with the use of light is not new. Light therapy was reported to be effective for many conditions by Hippocrates. With the development of the laser and its special properties, using light as a treatment has gained more popularity. This is because we can now use specific wavelengths of light and give accurately measured doses of energy directly to the appropriate treatment site, which was not possible with other light sources.
Low level lasers supply energy to the body in the form of non-thermal photons of light. Light is transmitted through the skin’s layers (the dermis, epidermis and the subcutaneous tissue or tissue fat under the skin) at all wavelengths in the visible range.
When low level laser light waves penetrate deeply into the skin, they optimize the immune responses of our blood. This has both anti-inflammatory and immunostimulate effects. It is a scientific fact that light transmitted to the blood in this way has positive effects throughout the whole body, supplying vital oxygen and energy to every cell.
What should I expect from a cold laser therapy session?
For most pets, laser therapy is quite passive. There are no pulsating shocks felt, as in forms of electronic stimulation, nor heat used as with ultrasounds. The most noticeable sensation is the touch of the probe head of the laser, as it comes in contact with the skin.
Following (and even during) a laser therapy session, approximately 75-80% of patients being treated can notice an immediate improvement in their condition. This will depend primarily on the type of condition and the length of time the condition has been present.
Generally, the more chronic or severe the condition, the longer it takes to respond. The majority of conditions treated will take anywhere from 4–5 or 10–18 treatments. Once again, the number of treatments depends upon the severity of the condition and its duration. If the condition does not change immediately, it may take 3-4 sessions before a dramatic or marked change is perceived.
Animal chiropractic is not limited to an injured or sick pet.
Animal chiropractic does not involve medications, surgery or injections, and is not intended to assume the primary health care responsibility of animals or replace veterinary medicine. Animal chiropractic is integrated with concurrent veterinary primary care. Animal chiropractic is beneficial for older animals, injured animals, athletes, show animals, and family pets. Whether to enhance performance, address injury or illness, or simply for preventative care, animal chiropractic can make a positive difference in your animal’s life.
Chiropractic therapy for animals may be just as helpful as it is for humans.
With chiropractic treatment a veterinarian or chiropractor with special training and certification in animal chiropractic checks every joint in the body to make sure it’s moving correctly. If it’s not moving correctly an adjustment is done which allows the joint to then move normally again, restoring normal blood flow and nerve function and reducing inflammation and pain. These adjustments are very quick and precise and typically don’t cause any discomfort.
Animals can experience a wide variety of spinal alignment issues whether they’re born with a disease, injure themselves, or acquire inevitable aches and pains as they age. Pet owners can take proper action to ensure their pets get well regardless of how or when the health issue presents itself. Avoiding the problem or trying to let it heal on its own can sometimes make matters worse, and what began as a minor issue can quickly turn into a severe condition. Sometimes conditions can start to take a turn for the worse, and then it can be difficult and expensive to treat. Chiropractic therapy for dogs provides benefits that may improve certain conditions and recovery time.
Chiropractic treatments include spine and joint adjustments, stretching, myofascial release, exercises programs and rehabilitation advice.
What ages of animals benefit from chiropractic care?
Animals of all ages benefit from regular chiropractic care. When older dogs get adjusted, oftentimes their owners report that their dog got its “inner puppy” back. Grouchy cats often become less moody and more playful. Watching animals regain their function and vitality never gets old. It’s a great way to increase their quality of life and keep them healthy. Our pets are worth it!
Healthy and athletic animals need check-ups of their spine to ensure proper structural alignment and function of muscles, nerves and joints. Broader benefits include superior immune function, healthier metabolism and a vibrant nervous system.
What to expect after treatment?
In general, your pet will have greater mobility, less pain, be more alert and better able to function after their adjustment. In some cases, your pet may be sore the next day, especially if the condition is chronic and it’s their first adjustment.
Arthritis & Geriatric Care & Treatment
Old age doesn’t have to mean less mobility
Many of the mobility issues that occur from aging can often be treated with the right treatments. Your dog may be struggling with regular daily tasks like getting up and down because their mobility is reduced from issues such as Arthritis, Rear leg weakness either trembling or giving way under them, back pain as their back legs sit out to one side, stiff muscles from old injuries left untreated, Inflexible joints, Chronic arthritis or something else.
Senior Mobility Care
Decreased energy, decreased mobility, arthritis and “old age diseases” are all treatable conditions that we can manage with a combination of Western medicine and holistic treatment options. Animals age much faster than people. Cats and dogs have decreased mental and physical capabilities as early as 6-8 years old and by 10 years old about 75% of dogs and almost 100% of cats have developed arthritis. Many conditions common in older animals like arthritis, mobility issues, thyroid issues, kidney disease, and heart disease can be managed holistically with excellent results. Even for healthy older animals as they age they have different needs for exercise, nutrition, and healthcare than young animals. We can come up with a plan tailored to your pet’s unique needs to help them age gracefully.
Mobility exercises can improve strength, flexibility, balance and coordination and can slow progression of disease, leading to an enhancement in mobility and better quality of life for your pet. This therapy may also be taught to an owner during a demonstration session in order for the owner to provide the benefits of therapeutic exercise outside of the clinic.