We are Your Post-Op Rehab Experts
Veterinary surgery impacts every family member. At RMVR, we work first with you and your pet to develop a plan to reduce pain and inflammation. Once your pet is comfortable, we change our focus to recovery through prescribed therapeutic exercises. Goals include improving range of motion, balance, strength, and coordination. We rely on your partnership for success since you know your furry family member best. We will work to teach you different techniques to use at home (exercises, massage, stretching) that will complement in-clinic therapies.
Our customized treatment plans address all kinds of surgeries from those we see daily to others that are less common. Among our clients, the most prevalent surgeries for aftercare include TPLOs (knee), elbow arthroscopies, FHOs (femoral head and neck ostectomies), and post-injection shoulder tendinopathies. Among less common conditions that respond to rehabilitation, we treat abductor pollicis longus tendinopathies, teres strains, or carpal arthrodeses. Please contact us to learn more about rehab for your pet’s specific surgery.
When should my pet begin rehab?
Effective pain control is among our top priorities, so we’d like to see your pet sooner rather than later to make sure they’re comfortable. Because we are typically booked a month out, please contact us when you’ve selected your surgery date. Once you tell us about your pet’s condition and the planned surgery, we can provide our best advice about when to start rehab. In some cases, pre-surgical rehabilitation (prehab) may be helpful. Please know that we share medical records with your surgery team and vice versa to make sure we are helping your pet get the best care and the most successful outcome possible.
From a timing perspective, a hip dislocation or severe hip arthritis may result in non-use (or incorrect use) of one leg for an extended period. Post-FHO surgery, pain and mobility interventions can begin as soon as three to five days afterwards to facilitate pain management and successful limb reeducation.
For a TPLO, we’d like to see your family member within two to four weeks after surgery. At this point, pain medication is often completed, and we can manage discomfort through gentle range of motion movements, massage, cold laser and shockwave therapy, and acupuncture, among other treatment modalities.
Because the injury/surgery/rehab process can be stressful for your family, we invite you to call us to learn more about how and when we can help your pet after surgery.
How long will post-surgery rehabilitation take?
Rehabilitation progress differs among pets and the procedure performed. Recovery time can range from several weeks to many months. For example, If your pet’s surgery took place after a long-term mobility struggle, it may take time to build strength for inactive or overcompensated muscles. Surgery is trauma, and we hope to reduce pain and increase mobility as quickly as possible. We encourage patience in order to achieve the best results and to prevent further injury or imbalances.
What to Expect: Post-Op Treatment Progression
- Initial assessment and pain and inflammation management – Gentle mobilization and range-of-motion work, shockwave and/or cold laser therapy, and acupuncture, among other treatments.
- Rehab exercises to improve posture, weight- bearing and build core strength.
- We start with easy exercises and leashed walk progressions.
- We will adjust your pet’s recovery plan to meet activity goals. We meet you where you are at in your pet’s recovery timeline, and partner with you until your recovery goals have been met. For some that means getting back to hiking a 14er. For others, it means being able to go for a stroll in the park.
- Graduation. Yay! Or transitioning to a longer term maintenance plan for chronic conditions
Throughout your family’s rehabilitation journey, we will communicate progress with you, your surgeon, and your primary care veterinarian. Coordination among your treatment team is important and we make an enormous effort to keep everyone informed.