Arthritis & Mobility
Arthritis affects at least 1 in 5 dogs, and this statistic increases as dogs get older, are overweight, or have other joint disorders. While arthritis is not a curable condition, it can be well-managed and dogs can lead a happy, active lifestyle. Cats are also affected by arthritis and can benefit from the services we offer. We provide customized plans for patients to address pain, joint supplements, weight loss, exercise, and nutrition. We will also discuss stem cell therapy, platelet rich plasma, laser therapy, surgery and other modalities when appropriate.
Research has shown that dogs are twice as likely to have an optimal outcome following cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) surgery when enrolled in a formal rehabilitation program compared to home exercises alone. Other orthopedic surgeries also benefit from rehabilitation targeting muscle strengthening and tissue healing. We have extensive experience treating dogs following CCL surgery (TPLO, lateral suture/ MRIT, TTA, CBLO), hip surgery (FHO, hip replacement), fractures, Achilles tendon surgery, elbow surgery (FCP, OCD), shoulder surgery (OCD, medial shoulder instability, biceps tendon release), and amputation.
Some orthopedic conditions can be successfully treated with rehabilitation instead of surgery. Examples include hip dysplasia/ arthritis, elbow dysplasia/ arthritis, and shoulder tendinopathies. Some patients are not candidates for surgery for a variety of reasons. Our rehabilitation veterinarians will discuss all of the options available for helping your pet.
We treat patients with a wide variety of neurologic conditions. Rehabilitation is extremely helpful for pets with neurologic diseases such as intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE), spinal trauma, and Degenerative Myelopathy (DM). Dogs with IVDD (disc herniation) should be seen by a neurologist prior to referral, as surgery is typically needed. Rehabilitation following IVDD surgery, and for FCE, DM, and other neurologic conditions helps dogs regain mobility and independence. We help with wheelchair fitting when indicated.
While we have extensive experience treating all types of canine athletes, our passion is working with service and working dogs and the “every-day” athlete. Common conditions we treat include medial shoulder instability, biceps/supraspinatous tendinopathy, iliopsoas strain, spinal arthritis, digit and carpal (wrist) injuries, CCL tear, and other soft tissue injuries. Our patients successfully return to work and play following therapy.
Over 50% of dogs in the US are overweight, and Washington is ranked 7th as the state with the most overweight dogs. Obesity and increased body weight are linked to arthritis, joint disorders, heart and lung disease, bladder conditions, lipomas, and early death. There is no single treatment more important in maintaining health than achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. We have a comprehensive weight loss program that will combine individualized nutrition and exercise plans to help your dog lose the weight she needs. Research shows that dogs are more likely to lose weight when enrolled in a formal rehabilitation program that includes nutritional recommendations along with underwater treadmill therapy.