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Managing Pets’ Pain Through Rehabilitation Therapy

The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management recognizes September as Animal Pain Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to review what veterinarians can do if your pet is hurting. No pet parent wants to think of their beloved pet in pain. Thankfully, advancements in veterinary medicine mean that we have lots of options available to help pets stay comfortable and reduce pain associated with chronic illness, surgery, and more. You may immediately think of medications or anesthesia, and those do help, but we’ve found that some of the best pain management protocols include rehabilitation therapy.

A well-designed rehabilitation program, developed and implemented by credentialed veterinary professionals, can improve pets’ quality of life. And many pets have so much fun, they don’t realize they’re receiving treatment! At Animal Emergency Hospital Volusia, we are fortunate to have a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner, Dr. Alyssa Carver, who can help put together a personalized pain management plan for your dog or cat.

Rehabilitation Therapy Treatments for Dogs and Cats

Elements of a comprehensive rehabilitation therapy program can include a wide range of treatments.

  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture has been used for thousands to years to produce a healing response in the body, and it’s helpful for animals and humans alike! It involves inserting extremely thin, flexible needles into specific points of the body to stimulate the release of anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving hormones and improve circulation.
  • Manual therapy: Done by a trained veterinary professional, this may include massage, stretching, range of motion, tissue and/or joint mobilization.
  • Therapeutic exercise programs (in-office and in-home): Especially useful for pets recovering from surgery, this can include simple exercises you can do with your pet to help them regain comfortable mobility at a slow and controlled rate.
  • Underwater treadmill (hydrotherapy): Exercising in water has the benefit of providing both buoyancy and resistance, making it possible to strengthen and condition muscles and build endurance without placing stress on joints. It can help pets with arthritis and post-surgical pets.
  • Weight management: Overweight and obese pets are often painful because the extra weight puts additional stress on their muscles, joints, and internal systems, which all have to work harder. By designing a plan to help them lose weight safely, we can reduce pets’ pain and help them stay healthy.

K-Laser Therapy Can Help

We not only have access to traditional methods of pain management, including medication, but we also offer laser therapy. K-Laser, also known as High Power Laser Therapy, targets damaged tissue with specific wavelengths of light that have been found to interact with tissue and accelerate the healing process. K-Laser therapy can stimulate all cell types, including soft tissue, ligaments, cartilage, and nerves, so it can help pets with a wide range of problems feel better faster. It’s also FDA-approved and is a scientifically proven treatment for a variety of conditions.

These are just some of the conditions K-Laser therapy can be used to treat:

  • Burns
  • Chronic Wounds
  • Ear Infections
  • Edema and Swelling
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Joint Pain
  • Ligament Sprains
  • Muscle Strains
  • Neck and Back Pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Post-Surgical Pain
  • Post-Traumatic Injury
  • Rehabilitation
  • Tendonitis

Additionally, it can relieve discomfort in dogs and cats suffering from conditions that limit the use of medications, such as some heart and liver diseases. K-Laser therapy can also be used with other pain management techniques, including massage, supplements, and medication. Treatments are cumulative, meaning even though your pet may experience improvement after their first visit, most patients require a series of treatments for the greatest benefit.

If you have questions about our rehabilitation options or our K-Laser multi-visit packages, give is a call at 386-252-0206.

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