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Pet Rehabilitation Services

Whether your pet has had surgery or needs physical therapy to improve mobility, Windcrest Animal Hospital offers rehabilitation services to help them recover and restore their vigor. Please read through our Rehab FAQs to learn if your pet might benefit from rehabilitation.

Our Veterinary Rehabilitation Referral Process

All rehabilitation patients must be referred by a veterinarian who approves of the plan of care, maintains responsibility for the patient’s care throughout the process, and assumes ongoing responsibility of the patient’s care upon completion.

We will provide the referring veterinarian with a copy of the initial evaluation and plan of care, progress notes, and a discharge summary upon completion of the rehab program.

Although our team primarily works with dogs and cats, we can provide rehabilitative services to exotic pets as well. We’ve even worked with a desert fox at our center!

rehab -150Our Veterinary Rehabilitation Team

Our team of dedicated rehab professionals under the direction of medical director, Dr. Morgan Dawkins, works as a referral service to the veterinary community.

Rehabilitation services are provided by physical therapist Kate Christian, DPT, CCRP. She acquired her Canine Rehabilitation Therapist Certification from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville before receiving her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2005 from the University of Delaware, where she also received her BA in Neuroscience in 2001. In 2007, Kate completed courses through the University of Tennessee to become a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner. Kate is from Wilmington, Delaware, where she lives with her three dogs.

Common Conditions That Respond Well To Pet Rehabilitation

  • Arthritis/DJD
  • Hip dysplasia/elbow dysplasia
  • Bone and joint surgeries
  • Fractures/repairs
  • Spinal injuries/surgeries
  • Neurologic diseases (DM, FCE, IVDD)
  • Pain management
  • Obesity/weight loss

Our Pet Rehabilitation Treatment Services

  • Individualized evaluation and assessment, including home care and client education
  • Therapeutic laser
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Underwater treadmill
  • Manual therapy
  • Massage
  • Therapeutic ultrasound
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Gait training
  • Therapeutic exercise
  • Proprioceptive and balance training
  • Wellness program
  • Splinting, bracing, and assistive devices

Advantages of Pet Rehabilitation

  • Provides maximized recovery from surgery
  • Facilitates faster wound healing with our laser therapy
  • Reduces pain and inflammation
  • Provides accelerated healing of injured tissue
  • Reduces need for anti-inflammatory drug usage
  • Maintains and restores range of motion and muscle mass
  • Builds strength and endurance
  • Reduces gait abnormalities
  • Improves overall function and quality of life

Pet Rehabilitation Treatments

Canine Hydrotherapy
Our underwater treadmill allows animals to exercise without stressing their joints. Similar to a human treadmill, speed can be increased and decreased and the level of incline can be adjusted according to your pet’s needs. We also offer rehabilitative swimming, a beneficial cardiovascular exercise that offers a no-impact way to increase strength and endurance. All breeds of dogs can benefit from swimming, and most love it! Our hydrotherapy is not limited to just dogs; other pets, including cats and even a rabbit, have reaped the benefits of this therapy.

Therapeutic Laser
Deep-penetrating photons from the laser affect the chemistry of a cell in a variety of helpful ways. Pets receiving laser therapy after surgery have less pain and fewer complications, and they typically recover faster. Laser therapy can reduce your pet’s healing time for wounds and speed up regeneration.

Electric Stimulation
Electric stimulation helps relieve pain, prevent muscle atrophy, and increase strength of muscles that are underutilized. An electrical current is delivered through electrodes placed on the skin over a muscle or a muscle group. Electric stimulation is ideal for post-surgical patients who are non-weight bearing or have restricted use of certain muscles.

Therapeutic Ultrasound
Therapeutic ultrasound is a heating agent for deep tissue. We use it to aid in the recovery of musculoskeletal injuries. It increases blood flow to the affected area and accelerates your pet’s healing process. Ultrasound is very effective in treating joint motion limiting conditions and soft tissue injuries.

Manual Therapy
Our therapists use their hands in every treatment, whether for a relaxing massage to help warm up the muscles for a workout or intense joint mobilizations. Deep tissue massage, stretching, and cross friction massage are some of the other forms of manual therapy used to help pets in their recovery.

Therapeutic Exercise
Therapeutic exercise offers an array of benefits for pets in rehabilitation:

  • Increases weight bearing
  • Helps correct gait abnormalities
  • Strengthens
  • Improves proprioception
  • Improves balance
  • Improves quality of movement

Windcrest’s Therapeutic Exercises

  • Cavaletti rails
  • Cone weaves
  • Stair walking
  • Curb walking
  • Figure eights
  • Circles
  • Balance board
  • Sit-to-stands

For more information about our rehabilitation services or to schedule an appointment to discuss your pet’s rehabilitation, wellness, or sick care needs, contact us today.

Windcrest Animal Hospital

3705 Lancaster Pike

Wilmington, DE 19805 - Directions

Lobby Hours:

Mon-Fri: 7:30am - 8:30pm

Sat: 8am - 6pm

Sunday: 9am-6pm

Emergency: Open 24/7
(302) 998-2995 Contact Us

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