Canine Rehabilitation

Veterinary Canine Rehabilitation WisconsinMuch like physical therapy in human medicine, canine rehabilitation is an ideal way to achieve one or more of the following goals:

  • Optimize recovery following surgery
  • Reduction of pain, swelling and complications following surgery
  • Accelerated healing of injured tissue
  • Maintain and restore range of motion and muscle mass
  • Overall improved function and quality of movement
  • Conditioning, strengthening and weight loss
  • Overall improved quality of life

Common Indications for Rehabilitation


  • Arthritis
  • Hip/elbow dysplasia
  • Tendonitis
  • Post-operative
  • Knee surgery
  • Hip surgery
  • Patellar luxation
  • Fracture repair
  • Ligament/Tendon repair
  • Amputation
  • Trauma


  • Fibrocartilagenous Embolism (FCE)
  • Emilaminectomy and Laminectomy
  • Balance and Vestibular disorders
  • Peripheral nerve injuries
  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
  • Wobbler Syndrome

Other Conditions:

  • Pain management
  • Wound care
  • Obesity
  • Competition and Working Dogs
  • Athletic conditioning
  • Gait retraining
  • Injury prevention
  • Senior fitness/Wellness
  • Behavior disorders

Treatment Options

Hydrotherapy for PetsHydrotherapy

Fox Valley Animal Referral Center utilizes a water treadmill designed specifically for dogs. Our rehab patients benefit from treadmill exercise as well as swim therapy. Exercising in water is ideal for many conditions. Water resistance improves strength, flexibility and range of motion. Buoyancy offsets gravity, offering patients low-impact, safe exercise. We can adjust the speed of our treadmill, as well as the depth and resistance so our rehabilitation coordinator can create a hydrotherapy program tailored to suit your pet’s needs.


Massage therapy in human medicine is widely accepted as an effective modality of rehabilitation. It is often used in sports medicine to decrease susceptibility to injury and as part of a total rehabilitation regime following injury and/or surgery. In veterinary medicine, massage therapy has the same applications. Massage therapy increases muscle mobility, increases circulation, improves oxygen delivery to tissues, relieves pain, optimizes muscle recovery and even decreases stress by relaxing the patient.

Low Intensity Laser Therapy

Low intensity lasers accelerate tissue repair and cell growth. This therapy reduces the formation of scar tissue and is effective in the management of chronic pain.

Therapeutic Ultrasound Therapy

Therapeutic ultrasound therapy utilizes the energy created by sound waves to warm superficial and deep tissues. Because ultrasonic waves deliver heat therapy deeper into the tissue than other heat therapies, such as heating pads, ultrasound therapy is more effective in treating muscle and joint injury and pain. It is also an effective way to facilitate wound healing.

Neuromuscular Stimulation (MNES)

NMES utilizes low-level electrical currents to stimulate muscle contraction. This therapy helps prevent post-surgical / post-injury muscle loss. It also strengthens muscles in non-ambulatory patients.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

TENS utilizes electrodes to transmit and electrical signal through the skin. It is a modality used to provide relief from chronic pain.

Passive Range of Motion Therapy (PROM)

The use of passive exercises helps to improve joint mobility and flexibility of muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Custom Strength Training and Conditioning Programs

Strength training and conditioning is highly beneficial to canine athletes and show dogs. It improves agility, builds strength and enhances muscle mass. In addition, for overweight or sedentary dogs, it helps with weight loss and fitness. For geriatric and arthritic patients it helps improve mobility, strength and flexibility while giving them a safe and fun way to exercise.

Additional Rehabilitation Services

  • Rehabilitation exercise equipment available for purchase or rental
  • Custom fit mobility and stability equipment such as wheelchairs, carts splints and braces
  • Custom home exercise programs and owner education

Daycare and overnight boarding available in conjunction with rehab services.