Southern California's First Certified Professional Pet Therapy Team Opens Pet Rehabilitation Center

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California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE) is Southern California's first physical rehabilitation center for pets as rehabilitation becomes an emerging field in veterinary medicine. Using equipment and techniques commonly found in human physical therapy, CARE aims to help pets live more functional and comfortable lives. Rehabilitation speeds up and improves an animal's recovery rate and outcome, and is more commonly being used post-operatively or as a surgical alternative.

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Combining veterinarian care with a physical therapist's understanding of exercise biomechanics, joint and soft tissue mobilizations, and proper use of modality equipment has shown positive outcomes.

California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE) is Southern California's first physical rehabilitation center for pets as rehabilitation becomes an emerging field in veterinary medicine.

Founded by doctors of veterinary medicine and physical therapy, both certified in canine rehabilitation, CARE offers state-of-the-art therapy targeting pets with chronic, debilitating conditions, recovering from surgery, requiring weight management or needing sports conditioning.

"Until now, pet owners were left to their own devices to manage a pet's chronic or post-operative pain," said Dr. Jessica Waldman, VMD, CVA, CCRT. "We have seen proper rehabilitation programs result in pets having fully-functional and pain-free lives. At CARE we combine an East-West medical philosophy targeting the whole pet, not just one issue. By weighing their medical history, lameness, exercise and nutrition into the rehabilitation process, we have seen a drastic impact on overall healing."

Studies show that pet rehabilitation can positively impact arthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia, ruptured disks, post-operative recovery, rear limb weakness, and neurological disorders including paralysis. CARE works collaboratively with veterinarians and surgeons to optimize results.

"Rehabilitation means helping a pet regain function, whether it be mitigating pain, increasing range of motion or enhancing limb use. Normal function prevents compensatory movements which can lead to other lameness." said Dr. Amy Kramer, PT, DPT, CCRT. "Combining veterinarian care with a physical therapist's understanding of exercise biomechanics, joint and soft tissue mobilizations, and proper use of modality equipment has shown positive outcomes."

CARE's 2600-square-foot facility uses similar devices and techniques found at human physical therapy centers including an underwater treadmill, therapeutic laser, ultrasound and electrical stimulation for pain management, manual therapy and exercises to increase range-of-motion and flexibility, acupuncture, and nutritional counseling.

For more information go to http://www.CalAnimalRehab.com or call (310) 998-CARE (2273).

ABOUT CARE. Santa Monica, Calif.-based California Animal Rehabilitation is a full-service rehabilitation center, offering customized therapy programs for pets. Operated by both doctors of veterinary medicine and physical therapy, CARE uses state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to help pets live more functional and comfortable lives. Pet owners can schedule private sessions, daycare if they work, or 24/7 boarding when pets require more intensive care. Located at 3200 Olympic Boulevard in Santa Monica, Calif., CARE is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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COACH: POST-OP KNEE SURGERY PATIENT EXERCISED WITH HYDROTHERAPY AS PART OF FULL REHABILITATION PROGRAM 3-year-old Coach is walking on an underwater treadmill for 10-minute intervals to rebuild muscle strength and promote a more normal range-of-motion in his left rear knee, at Los Angeles-areas California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE), following knee surgery for one of the most common dog injuries called a cruciate tear. Typically caused from darting too fast in one direction, slipping on a surface, genetics, or degeneration, a tear of the ligament in the knee can today be repaired through surgery or often times with rehabilitation alone. Physical therapy used with humans has a similar effect in animals by speeding up and improving the rate recovery and outcome. Animal rehabilitation is more commonly being used post-operatively or as a surgical alternative. SADIE: BATTLING HIP DYSPLASIA WITH RESISTANCE TRAININGHip dysplasia affects dogs of all breeds and ages with and without arthritis. 4-year-old Sadie walks with resistance of rubber bands held by a therapist at Los Angeles-based California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE) to allow her hip flexor muscles to get stronger. While Sadie was born with hip dysplasia, this condition can be improved through rehabilitation, and, like Sadie often times can prevent the need for surgery. Her 8-weeks of therapy have enabled her to avoid surgery, strengthen muscles of her affected joints which are helping to stabilize those joints, decrease her pain and increase overall mobility. CANINE PILATES BUILD CORE MUSCLE STRENGTH TO IMPROVE CHRONIC BACK PAIN French Bulldog Crush Jackson experienced an acute episode of pain at home and refused to move. At Los Angeles-based California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE), a team of a veterinarian and a doctor of physical therapy developed a rehabilitation program to get Crush out of pain, including use of a rocker board platform which works on balance and core strength. The motion of the rocker board strengthens the back and abdominals and the stabilizers of his joints. Back problems are very common in both young and old pets and rehabilitation techniques can help pets to regain a pain free life. REHABILITATION FOR AGING PET WITH PAIN AND DECREASED RANGE-OF-MOTION IN NECK12-year-old Bear came to California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE) with limited range-of-motion and pain in his neck due to one of the most common issues in aging pets: arthritis. CARE therapists work with Bear make his neck more flexible by having him stretch and his neck around to his shoulder through reward training. Eight weeks of treatment at CARE and by his owner at home greatly improved his neck strength and mobility while decreasing his pain.