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The last twenty years has seen a  big move towards using rehabilitation as a useful tool for treating for our pets. 

There are many modalities that are used in rehabilitation including

- Manual therapies

- Physical agents including: laser therapy, therapeutic ultrasound, Neuromuscular electrical stimulation, shockwave therapy

- Home exercise programs

- Aquatic therapy

- Acupuncture

Rehabilitation can benefit your pet by

- Improving quality of life (especially in our geriatric pets)

- Increasing strength, range of motion and endurance

- Reducing pain and swelling

- Reducing the need for pharmaceuticals

- Decreasing recovery time after surgery

- Improving mental health


There are many different pets that can be treated using rehabilitation.

Pets Recovering from Surgery

Geriatric Pets

Injured pets where surgery isn't an option

Sporting Pets

Pets Recovering from Surgery

Just like us, our pets recovery after orthopaedic surgery can be speedier and improved by rehabilitation. The notion of just keeping your pet in a cage after orthopaedic surgery is outdated. Rest is important after surgery but a gentle return to exercise with a focus on reducing pain, enhancing healing and building strength gives the best results. It is very common to get humans out of bed and moving on the day after most orthopaedic surgeries and the same should be applied to our pets.

If your surgeon is not recommending rehab you could ask them why. There may be a valid reason or it may not be on their radar.

At Balance Vet we can give you a program to get your pet on track faster meaning less pain and a quicker recovery.

Geriatric Pets

Most owners will have to eventually deal with their pet’s aging, arthritis and the effect it has on the mobility of their furry friend. Pets are very good at compensating and hiding the pain and debilitation from owners. Owners are very good at missing these subtle signs of arthritis.

One way to treat these guys is to set the treatment (usually anti-inflammatory medication and joint supplements) and then leave it at the same treatment for life – set and forget.

This can be helpful initially but does not take the take the uniqueness of the condition into consideration. It doesn’t look at the individual pet. It does not give the best longterm outcomes and quality of life for your pet.

At Balance Vet we individualise treatments. We don’t set and forget your pet’s arthritis treatment. We are constantly tweaking and seeking better outcomes for these geriatric patients.

We use the following process:

  • Reduce pain and treat compensations

  • Weight loss and improve joint health

  • Improve strength and balance

  • Reduce pain in arthritic joints – We can use a combination of therapies to reduce pain in arthritic joints.

We may use standard anti inflammatories for severely affected pets in the first few weeks but always endeavour to move to safer anti-inflammatory supplements for long term use.

Acupuncture and manual therapy techniques can help reduce inflammation in arthritic joints.

We can advise on diet and exercise to get the pudding off your dog. This is essential in all arthritic pets.

Arthritic joints cause unnatural loading patterns in different parts of the body. These loading compensations can be permanent if not addressed. Animal Biomechanical Medicine and Acupuncture are useful tools to treat these compensations. We initially may treat with these therapies once every 1-2 weeks and can then often maintain with treatments every 1-2 months.

Joint Supplements should be part of the long term management of all pets with arthritis.

It is possible for old pets to improve their strength and balance. This can have a huge impact on their mobility. Increasing muscle strength and balance means the forces on arthritic joints is markedly reduced. In the long term we can prescribe a home exercise program to maintain strength in our furry friends. 

Ongoing monitoring and reassessment of the treatment plan – It is important to not set and forget when it comes to treating arthritis. Balance Vet recommends ongoing monitoring to optimise the treatment plan for your old friend.

​Injured Pets : Surgery isn't an option for my pet - I was looking for another way.

At Balance Vet Rehab we give pet owners options. We see many pet owners who do not want to go to surgery for their pet's injury. Their pet may be old and may not be a surgical candidate or owners may not be able to afford an expensive surgery. We can assess your pet and let you know if rehabiliation and conservative treatment is right for your furry friend. 

​Sporting Dogs

Sporting dogs competing in high intensity activities such as agility, fly ball, dock diving, herding and lure coursing are prone to injuries which are not quite as common as in their less sporting canine friends. Shoulder and other soft tissue injuries can be troublesome for these guys. At Balance Vet we can help diagnose and treat these sporting dog issues and get them back to competing at their best.

We also offer sporting dog assessments and conditioning programs, using the latest science to advise on an exercise program that is right for your dog.


Rehabilitation can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments to help the following conditions:

Pain          Arthritis          Hip Dysplasia         Elbow Dysplasia          Disc Disease

Patella luxation          Degenerative Myelopathy          Cruciate Disease

Wobblers         Brachial Plexus Injury          Medial Shoulder Instability

Shoulder OCD          Carpal Hyperflexion          Biceps Tendon Tear

Fibrocartilaginous Emboli          Polyradiculoneuropathy          Iliopsoas injury

Sesamoiditis          Lumbosacral Disease


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