FAQs

Surgery Related

Underwater Treadmill (UWTM)

We typically wait until the surgical incision has fully healed and sutures/ staples (if any were placed) have been removed; this takes about 2 weeks.

In order to provide a sanitary environment for our patients we use bromine and chlorine pool sanitizer and total alkalinity increaser in the water to keep the water sanitized and the PH balanced. We monitor the water throughout the day and use only the minimum amount of chemicals needed to keep the water clean.

We change the water every 24-36 hours. However, if an animal has an “accident” in the UWTM, it will be flushed and filled with new water for the next patient.

The water is heated to about 86 degrees.

Arthritis

Arthritis requires life-long management. Most dogs benefit from an initial program of 8-12 sessions over 6-12 weeks, followed by regular maintenance sessions once a week.

Laser Therapy

No. The therapy laser that we use does not generate heat and does not cause pain. Laser therapy utilizes infrared light (electromagnetic energy) to stimulate tissue healing, increase blood flow, reduce swelling and decrease pain.

Stem Cells

Stem cells can come from a variety of tissues, most commonly fat or bone marrow (Yes! Fat, or adipose tissue, has a high reserve of stem cells). We currently utilize fat-derived stem cells that come from the same dog (autogenous). Collection of fat requires a minor surgical procedure (general anesthesia, out-patient) to collect fat from the abdomen. Fat is sterilely packaged and shipped over-night to Vet Stem in California. This laboratory upholds the highest quality control possible in processing the fat to isolate stem cells. Stem cells are returned over-night so that they can be injected 48 hours after fat collection.

Procedures

These procedures require heavy sedation or anesthesia. We perform all procedures requiring sedation/ anesthesia next door in the Animal Surgical and Orthopedic Center building. You will check in and pick up your pet from Animal Surgical on the day of a procedure.

We perform all diagnostic imaging (x-rays, ultrasound, CT scan) in the Animal Surgical and Orthopedic Center building. We can occassionally perform x-rays or CT scan on the same day as an appointment with a rehabilitation veterinarian  (M-F only), though this should never be expected. Ultrasounds are performed by a board certified radiologist and will always be scheduled on a different day than the initial appointment. Dogs will need to be dropped off for the day for ultrasound and CT scans.

Most dogs are given mild sedation for ultrasound and X-rays in order to minimize stress.

CT scan requires anesthesia or heavy sedation as dogs have to lay perfectly still for the scan.

Any dog that is having sedation, anesthesia or PRP therapy will need recent (within 2 months) blood work. We can perform bloodwork in house on the day of the procedure if needed. However, we do not perform routine monitoring bloodwork–this should be performed by your primary veterinarian.

We do not perform any fine needle aspirates or other medical diagnostic procedures. We encourage working with your primary care veterinarian for any non-rehabilitation related diagnostics and treatments your pet needs.

Miscellaneous Logistics

Many pet insurance companies cover rehabilitation therapy, stem cell therapy, PRP and other modalities as long as they are prescribed and performed by a veterinarian. Click here to see if your plan covers your pet’s treatment plan.

You will not need to purchase additional equipment to perform home exercises. However, we may make some recommendations for low cost equipment that may be helpful in certain cases; this is always optional.

Ideally, 20-30 minutes/day should be reserved for home exercises. This time can often be divided into smaller sessions several times a day. Exercises can also be worked into your daily walks. Agility/sporting dogs may require more than 30 minutes/day for conditioning and training.

Treats are used for motivation and encouragement in rehabilitation. If your dog has food allergies or requires a particular protein source, you will need to bring your own treats. We have a variety of treats including low-calorie dog treats, peanut butter, and string cheese, but we cannot garantee that we will have all protein sources available for treats. We do recommend feeding a lighter meal on the morning/evening of your dog’s appointment. You can even bring in half of their meal as treats to be used during therapy.

Your first appointment will be a consultation with a veterinarian. It is important that we have all of your pet’s pertinent medical records available at least 24 hours prior to the exam. If you have additional history, x-rays, or videos available, please bring these to your appointment.

For your first therapy session (underwater treadmill, acupuncture, laser, etc.) you do not need to bring anything extra unless your dog is on a speical diet/ has food allergies. We will provide towels, treats, beds, water, and all equipment needed.

Yes! Believe it or not, we have several cat patients at SOUND, some that even use the underwater treadmill. We are also extremely proud to be consultants for Woodland Park Zoo providing rehabilitation advice and services for their animals.