tank. The pets can do intervals or endurance work without stressing the joints. Plus, treadmill work strengthens all four extremities as opposed to the front leg emphasis of swimming. Alternative pet therapy
Many physical therapy treatments are similar to those used for humans, according to Susie Finley, MPT, and owner of Back on Track Canine Rehab in Boulder. “Canine rehab can help with a variety of issues: sprains and strains, joint surgeries, neurological problems after spinal cord injuries, stroke, amputations, weight loss and year round fitness - just like rehab helps people,” Finley says. “We provide thorough evaluations for each dog to determine the main problems and plan individual programs for each case. We emphasize owner education so they can help their dog at home with massage, stretching and exercises as needed.” In recent years, therapies that have been considered alternative even for humans have gained popularity. Some practices offer massage, acupuncture or Feldenkrais exercises. Many others recommend nutrition solutions, including herbs and supplements. “People are active here in Colorado,” says Wolfe. “And they want their dogs to be active with them. It’s important to them to keep their dogs healthy, so they seek alternatives like acupuncture or nutrition.”
“Of course you’d do therapy for a human. Why wouldn’t you do it for your pet?” months more out of their pet, so we are able to extend the time they have with their loved ones.” While dogs have been the primary recipients of pet rehab, cat continued > treatments are gaining ground.
More time with Fido
While rehab therapy can help animals recover and improve their health, many times it can even prolong their lives. “Often by the time people get to me, it’s a last resort,” says Dr. Shawna McCall, DVM, CVA, CCRP, and founder of the Utah Pet Rehab and Acupuncture Center. “But often we’ll be able to get six January 2014 | Boulder Lifestyle 27
January 2014 Issue of Boulder Lifestyle