In addition to our other services, Shirley Veterinary Hospital has recently added a physical therapy and rehabilitation center called Healing Hands 4 Paws.
HEALING HANDS 4 PAWS was created in response of a new generation of needs in the pet community - a desire for a higher quality of life and more active lifestyle for pets who have experienced injuries, or those who have entered their senior years.
Dr. Dexter Archer, V.M.D., C.C.R.P., founded Healing Hands 4 Paws in 2013 after seeing the difference rehabilitation and physical therapy made in the recovery rates of patients undergoing various orthopedic procedures. One of the most memorable cases referred to Dr. Archer was Casey. Casey was a two-year-old Jack Russell Terrier who had been hit by a car. She suffered multiple pelvic fractures and incurred neurological damage which left her unable to use her left hind leg. After multiple surgeries, Casey still had difficulty using the leg. Despite appropriate pain management protocols, she still seemed to experience excruciating pain, drastically decreasing her quality of life. She was not like the dog she used to be and did not even seem to enjoy spending time with her family
Casey started canine physical therapy and rehabilitation as a last ditch effort prior to her owners pursuing amputation.
Within 4 weeks, Casey became a completely new dog. With the help of our staff at Healing Hands 4 Paws, Casey regained her muscle strength and was back to her everyday self. Her owners were grateful that she didn't need to have an amputation.
It is with faith, knowledge, love, and persistence that Dr. Archer and his staff have continued to restore quality of life to injured, geriatric, overweight, post-surgical, and neurological patients
Physical therapy for canines, or canine rehabilitation, adapts human physical therapy techniques to increase function and mobility of joints and muscles in animals. Animal rehabilitation can reduce pain and enhance recovery from injury, surgery, degenerative diseases, age-related diseases, and obesity.
The goal of canine physical therapy & rehabilitation is to improve the overall quality of life and decrease pain. Veterinary physical therapy & rehabilitation techniques can also be used to help horses, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents and other small animals.
Physical rehabilitation aids in the prevention of injury and recovery from trauma, therefore expanding the physical potential and quality of life of our canine companions.
Hydrotherapy is a form of therapy utilizing water to provide buoyancy, stability, and hydrostatic pressure. These components are good for the post-operative, arthritic, neurologic, debilitated, and/or geriatric dogs.
Hydrotherapy is great for athletic dogs because they benefit from the resistance created by the water and a total body strengthening! The underwater treadmill is also a great tool to exercise young dogs that are injured or dogs that need rehabilitation from surgery.
People are most familiar with the type of ultrasonography is known as a sonogram which allows the technician/doctor to 'look at' the fetus of a pregnant woman. An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart.
Ultrasound is like ordinary sound except it has a frequency higher than humans can hear. The sound is reflected off of internal structures. The returning echoes are then received by the transducer and converted by an electronic instrument into an image on a monitor. The images can be printed or recorded on videotape.
Electrotherapeutic Modalities involves the use of electrical currents to accelerate the healing process, slow muscle deterioration, and build muscle mass during periods of inactivity. Electrical Stimulation, also known as (“e-stim”), is the application of electrical impulses to a muscle group stimulating their contraction. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation can be used to prevent degeneration of a muscle or muscle group. Transcutaneous electrical stimulation aids in pain management.
E-stim is used most commonly in orthopedic or neurological injuries and disease. Patients recovering from orthopedic surgery, fracture repair, spinal cord injury, and other neurological and orthopedic issues may benefit from electrical stimulation. E-stim may also be used to aid in pain management or to help reduce swelling or edema.
LASER Therapy Treatments:
Laser therapy is the use of a focused light to affect underlying tissues. It can influence bones, joints, muscles, tendons, lymph, circulation, and the nervous system by enhancing cellular metabolism and localized circulation. Laser therapy is a very beneficial tool to reduce inflammation and pain and to promote healing of wounds, injuries and/or surgery. It may also be useful in the stimulation of acupuncture or trigger points. Low-level laser therapy has minimal heating effects and can be used in acute injuries and at more stimulating settings for chronic injuries.
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) is an FDA cleared, non-invasive, non-pharmacological treatment of pain and edema. PEMF uses pulsing magnetic fields, developed by pulsing a small amount of battery current through coils of wire, to initiate normal biological cellular reactions that result in improved circulation and provide pain relief. It is believed that the benefits of the magnetic field are due to its influence on oxygen utilization by the tissues and, therefore, promotion of healing and/or turnover of cells.
Manual Therapy encompasses any form of therapy that can be applied by the use of the therapist's hands. It is a physical treatment primarily used by massage therapists to treat musculoskeletal pain and disability. Manual therapy typically incorporates kneading, manipulation, traction, joint mobilization & manipulation, soft tissue massage, and stretching.
Splints are used occasionally in rehabilitation to provide support to an injured area. They serve the same protective function as a bandage does, but has an additional benefit of preventing movement of the injured part. If a splint is used to support a fractured bone, it will be applied so that it immobilizes both the joint above and the joint below the fracture.
Splints can be simple such as "wrist and ankle" splints for joint stability, but occasionally more advanced assistive measures are taken such as slings or wheelchairs to assist dogs in their recovery or long-term functioning.