Treatment & Therapy
Attentive Treatment & Therapeutic Care
At West Chester Veterinary Medical Center in Chester County, our experienced we can create a comprehensive, customized program incorporating both treatment and physical therapy
Treatment & Therapy for Pets
During your pet's stay at our rehabilitation facility, they will receive targeted treatment and therapy in a relaxed and comfortable environment, with advanced therapeutic aids.
Our highly qualified team of therapists uses their wide array of knowledge and tools to provide your pet with attentive specialized care, customized to their needs.
From performing manual therapeutic techniques to repair tissues to providing low-impact aquatic therapy, we are fully equipped to develop a customized treatment program tailored to your pet's condition and requirements.
What to Expect During Treatment & Therapy
Our experienced therapy and rehabilitation teams can create a comprehensive custom therapeutic treatment program for your pet, tailored his or her needs. Therapy may include a combination of techniques, exercises and more. We will determine the best therapies based on your pet's condition, capabilities and specific requirements.
Treatment & Therapy Options
A customized physical rehabilitation program can consist of a number of therapeutic techniques, including:
- Therapeutic Physical Exercise
Therapeutic physical exercise is the cornerstone of any great physical rehabilitation program.
A number of exercises are appropriate for a plethora conditions and offer many benefits for your pet. With targeted physical exercises, we can:
- Improve cartilage and ligament health
- Improve muscle mass and strength
- Prevent or reverse osteoporosis
- Increase circulation
- Decrease pain
- Reduce obesity
- Improve function and mobility
- Improve flexibility and range of motion
- Improve balance and senses
- Increase endurance and stamina
- Aquatic Therapy
Low-impact aquatic therapy can help improve strength, range of motion and endurance.
The buoyancy properties of water minimize weight bearing stress to the joints, which helps prevent tissue injuries, inflammation and pain.
Aquatic therapy is appropriate for:
- Post-operative orthopedic procedures
- Neurological conditions
- Osteoarthritic patients
- Overweight patients
Depending on your pet's requirements, we may choose the 2,500-gallon heated in-ground swimming pool or the underwater treadmill.
The underwater treadmill promotes controlled weight bearing by varying water level, while our swimming pool is a non-weight bearing environment. This is especially effective for osteoarthritis and weaknesses related to neurological conditions.
Swimming is not recommended immediately for many post--operative conditions; the treadmill may be more appropriate.
Our therapy team will help determine which is most suitable based on your pet's condition.
- Manual Techniques
Manual techniques refer to massage, passive range of motion, stretches and joint mobilization.
These are all important components of any rehabilitation program and can help alleviate pain, increase circulation, promote relaxation and improve tissue extensibility.
- Hot/Cold Therapy
We use superficial hot and cold applications in addition to other treatments.
Often, hot or cold therapeutic aids are applied before or after exercise to increase tissue extensibility.
They can also promote relaxation, relieve pain, increase circulation, and minimize inflammation.
- Cold Laser Therapy
Cold (low-level) laser is a drug-free, non-invasive therapy frequently used with rehab patients to increase the quality, speed and tensile strength of tissue repair. It is also helpful for reducing pain and inflammation.
This safe, effective and precise therapy is used to treat a number of conditions such as soft tissue injuries, post-operative conditions, arthritis and wounds.
- Therapeutic Ultrasound
Therapeutic ultrasound can improve your pet's mobility and promote soft tissue health. It reduces scar tissue and enhances repair to bone structure by providing thermal and non-thermal mechanical stimulation.
This promotes healing of tissue (muscles, tendons, joint capsules, ligaments) and bones.
During the ultrasound, a pulsed or continuous sound wave can be applied using varied heads to determine the depth of sound wave penetration. Depending on the tissue and condition, the intensity of the treatment may also be adjusted.
Several conditions respond well to this treatment, including:
- Muscle contracture
- Muscle strains
- Calcified tendons
- Fracture healing
- Ligament sprains
- Chronic synovitis
- Neuronal Adjustment
Veterinary Neuronal Adjustment (VNA) can be used to treat a number of diseases in cats and dogs.
With this type of therapy, we can treat a Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC), a functional defect of a joint that causes neurological pain or symptoms that may not appear on an x-ray. However, its impact can include muscle spasms, neurological defects, inflammation and mobility problems.
This treatment is non-invasive and will not cause your pet to feel pain. With VNA, we correct nerve dysfunction by using gentle force to reset the joint, so the nerves can function again, internal organs receive proper blood flow, and many diseases are resolved.
Conditions and diseases from arthritis to incontinence and hypertension (high blood pressure) can be treated with VNA.
Acupuncture is a 6,000-year-old therapy used to alleviate pain using slender, sharp needles to stimulate acupuncture points, which encourages healing throughout the body.
This technique is painless and creates changes in the body's energy patterns, allowing healing to occur. Dr. Stephanie Finley treats acupuncture patients at our facility by appointment.
Using a microcurrent electrical neuromuscular stimulator, we use a very specific, small wavelength of electricity to treat pain and slow macular degeneration. This type of therapy has a cumulative effect, and studies have shown that many patients feel that pain is alleviated long-term with regular treatments.
Micro-stimulation can be used to treat pain disorders, neurological dysfunction, sprains, spasms and strains, and post-operative pain and scars.
- Myofascial Release
A breakdown of the fascia (connective tissue surrounding the bones, muscles, nerves, organs and blood vessels in your pet's body) can happen as a result of inflammation, posture or trauma. This can create abnormal pressure on these areas.
While "myo" refers to muscle, "release" is known as the easing of restrictions. By using a gentle, non-invasive technique called myofascial release, we can ease and alleviate pain within your pet's body.
- Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy
Using Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF), we can decrease pain and inflammation and increase the rate of tissue repair and regeneration. This form of therapy has also been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to heal bone fractures.
Used in conjunction with rehabilitation sessions, PEMF can assist in pain management and leave your pet feeling better.
Treatment & Therapy FAQs
Read our most frequently asked questions about treatment and therapy for pets.
- Why does my pet need physical therapy?
Physical therapy is an essential element in your pet's recovery, whether they have been impacted by injury, trauma, surgery, chronic pain, neurological condition or other circumstance.
With a custom rehabilitation and therapeutic program, we can focus on pain management and prioritizing his or her overall health while reaching your pet's goals, which may include building your pet's balance and coordination, endurance and stamina.
All of these are conducive to healing, with the goal of ensuring your pet feels their best and that the two of you get to spend many more years together.
- What types of conditions can physical therapy be used to treat?
Physical therapy can be used to treat a wide range of conditions your pet may have, such as:
- Recovery after major surgery (hip surgery, cruciate repair, limb amputation, etc.)
- Spinal injuries
- Disc disease (IVDD)
- Soft tissue injuries
- Chronic pain
- How long will my pet need to attend physical therapy?
Based on your pet's condition, and an assessment from our experienced veterinary specialists and therapy team, we can determine your pet's unique therapeutic requirements, including the duration of their customized treatment program.
- What can I do at home to achieve the best results possible from physical therapy?
Depending on your pet's condition and requirements, at-home exercises may help promote healing and progress in physical therapy.
Always consult your veterinarian and/or therapy team on if and when at-home exercises should be part of your pet's treatment, and which ones would be helpful.