What is Geriatric Rehabilitation?
With increased age, pets often face many physical changes that can affect their level of function and well-being. Rehabilitation helps to maintain their functional independence.
We use physical rehabilitation to help your dog or cat return to a better quality of life.
When we look at an older pet, we need to differentiate between diseases that can affect our pet and their ability to perform activities of daily living. When we make a treatment plan for older pets we look into improving their strength and balance with the final result of increasing mobility to be able to do activities they could no longer do. We also discuss their nutrition, how to improve it, and how you can help them at home.
Approach to Geriatric Rehabilitation
Therapeutic exercises are an important tool of physical rehabilitation to improve function. Our geriatric rehabilitation program is implemented to help the transition from a dependent to an independent pet.
Effective interventions to improve function usually involves three areas: the pet, the activities he does during the day, and the environment.
Exercises are designed to help with flexibility, strength, balance, and endurance. The exercise level will depend on what your pet can do. We will teach you some activities and exercises to do at home to help him feel better.
The second area to improve is task selection. That means we will ask you what your pet liked to do before that he cannot do now. For example, increase in strength may allow your pet to perform the task of jumping into the car again.
The third area we discuss is the environment. A few modifications may be needed to increase the safety of your pet. (example adding throw rugs on slippery floors).