Physical Therapy for Your Pet

Every Tuesday I take a Golden Retriever named Betsy to Physical Therapy at the Sterling Ipression Animal Rehab Facility in Walpole, Mass: Betsy tore the ACL in her left knee a few weeks ago, so prior to surgery the staff at Sterling Rehab are working to strengthen the muscles surrounding her knee, as well as ease the secondary pressure in her back.

Upon arrival Betsy always starts out with a heat pack applied to her injury followed by a firm rub down of the area and her back, which has tightened considerably since she is compensating for her injured knee.

This “rub-down routine” is always followed by a five minute walk on a treadmill. The difference between Sterling’s treadmill and most normal treadmills is that this particular treadmill is located at the base of a tank which can be filled with water. Betsy walks in the water, about chest high, to limit the pressure on her knee as she walks.

After her “walk on the wet side” Betsy gets a cold compress to her knee. This is usually followed by a treatment of healing laser light applied to the injured area. Sometimes after her laser treatment she will go on a wobble board, which is just exactly what it sounds like – a board she must stand up on and keep her balance to improve the muscle tone in her back. Sometimes she will be seen by a chiropractor for an alignment after this and about every other week she finishes with a visit to the house acupuncturist, who might I add, is AMAZING in both demeanor and skill. Betsy always seems most at ease after her visit the with acupuncturist, and truth be told, Anne has such a soothing presence that even I seem to be bewitched under her calming spell (and she doesn’t even poke me with anything).

If you’re contemplating getting your pet physical therapy, either for an injury or to lose some weight, I highly recommend seeking out the assistance of Sterling Rehab. Their staff, Kathy, the head therapist; Nina, her underling; Kevin the college intern, and Anne, the acupuncturist, is truly a delight. They will put both you and your pet right at ease. For more information check out their website or feel free to drop me a line. I will answer any questions to the best of my ability.

Let the healing begin!

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