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Canine Physical Rehabilitation

Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary is excited to share that we now offer canine physical rehabilitation services for our sanctuary dogs! Canine physical rehabilitation is beneficial to help dogs heal after a surgery or injury, control pain in chronic arthritis patients, build strength in elderly patients, and blow off excess steam in our high energy dogs.

Physical rehabilitation at MAS consists of:

  1. A physical assessment by our veterinarian.
  2. Exercises focused on the dog’s specific needs (similar to homework exercises you may have prescribed to you in human physical therapy).
  3. Use of an underwater treadmill to build strength and endurance.
  4. Pain management tools (such as a therapeutic laser).

One of the greatest benefits of canine physical rehabilitation in shelters dogs is helping scared dogs heal and build confidence as they learn new exercises with their rehabilitation team!  We are pleased to be able to enrich the lives of MAS dogs with this new service!

Rehabilitation is an approach to healing and strength building that requires patience, dog training skills, and problem solving in order to convince the dogs to perform their needed exercises.  For example, dogs like Willow may take a few weeks to even build up enough confidence to walk into the treadmill. Cole, however, was very excited about checking it out and using it the first time we asked.  And, then we have dogs like Scarlet who started therapy at Cascade after her first cruciate was repaired.  She is a pro at rehab and has made starting rehab at MAS after her second cruciate surgery a bit easier for the staff who are learning this new skill!

The rehabilitation department at MAS will continue to grow slowly and deliberately.  We are focusing on post-op patients first, then will transition to chronic musculoskeletal pain management cases (such as chronic arthritis), and then lastly this department will be used in the future for physical conditioning for some of our higher energy dogs.