Rehabilitation

Our pets are members of our family. And when it comes to family, we choose a practitioner we trust. Choosing a rehabilitation therapist isn't any different.

Doctors Mark and Amy Ekerberg are both certified in canine physical rehabilitation and members of American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians (AARV). With a committment to continued education and 18 years of experience, you can be sure your patient is provided the very best care.

A veterinarian can provide whole body care, prescribe needed medicines and perform a veterinary diagnostic evaluation prior to designing a treatment plan to get patients back on their feet with a restored quality of life.
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FAQs
  • What is rehabilitation therapy?
  • What is a rehabilitation veterinarian?
  • What kinds of conditions are treated?
  • Can older pets benefit from therapy?
  • What techniques do you use?
  • What is the warm-water treadmill?
  • What is a balance board?
  • What are cavalettis?
  • What is an endless pool?

What is rehabilitation therapy?

Veterinary rehabilitation is an individualized treatment of a patient's injury or illness to decrease pain and restore mobility, ability to function and quality of life. A rehabilitation veterinarian treats acute injuries soon after they have occurred and chronic injuries or diseases that have been affecting your pet for a long time.

Physical therapy begins with the proper diagnosis of injuries, both orthopedic and soft tissue. The rehabilitation-trained veterinarian then uses manual therapy, therapeutic exercise and physical modalities (including ultrasound, electrical stimulation, LASER, hydrotherapy and shockwave) to speed and enhance recovery from debilitating injuries and degenerative conditions.

Veterinary rehabilitation incorporates advanced imaging techniques, regenerative medicine and state-of-the-art pain management techniques. Only a properly trained veterinarian, with advanced training, expertise—and most importantly—experience in the management of pain and loss of function through injury and illness, should manage the rehabilitation of an animal.

What is a rehabilitation veterinarian?

This is any veterinarian who focuses on rehabiliation of animals who are recovering from debilitating injuries, surgery, degenerative conditions or old age.

At Northridge, our doctors are unique.

Northridge vets will see your animal through every step of their pathology, from preventative-care practices such as routine check-ups and vaccinations, to diagnosis of injuries that lead to therapy and/or surgery, to a speedy recovery.

What kinds of conditions are treated?

Rehabilitation can be beneficial to improve the outcome of your pet's recovery from a major surgery, injury or used as a treatment for older pets who struggle with day-to-day tasks.

With the use of therapy balls, balance boards, cavalettis, laser therapy, warm water treadmill and an endless pool in combination with proper medication, we provide an individualized recovery plan for conditions such as:

Osteoarthritis
Hip Problems
Muscle Injuries
Spinal Injuries
Intervertebral Disc Disease
Neuromuscular Disease
Arthrodesis
Fractures
Hip Problems
Cruciate Injury

Paralysis and Paresis
Limb Amputation
Shoulder OCD
Elbow Dysplasia
Joint Dislocation
Patellar Luxation
Biceps Tenosynovitis
Infraspinatus Contracture
Achilles Tendon Rupture
Tendon Laceration

Can older pets benefit from rehab?

Absolutely. More commonly rehabilitation is associated with the recovery process after a treatment rather than a treatment itself, but a weakening older pet who struggles to perform every-day tasks such as rising, climbing stairs and daily walks, rehabilitation can be a form of treatment.

What techniques do you use?

Physical therapy begins with the proper diagnosis of injuries, both orthopedic and soft tissue. The rehabilitation-trained veterinarian then uses manual therapy, therapeutic exercise and physical modalities (including ultrasound, electrical stimulation, LASER, hydrotherapy and shockwave) to speed and enhance recovery from debilitating injuries and degenerative conditions. Rehabilitation will utilize the use of therapy balls, balance boards, cavalettis, warm water treadmill and an endless pool. These modalities are also used for the healthy canine athlete to improve strength and endurance.

Veterinary rehabilitation incorporates advanced imaging techniques, regenerative medicine and state-of-the-art pain management techniques. Only a properly trained veterinarian, with advanced training, expertise—and most importantly—experience in the management of pain and loss of function through injury and illness, should manage the rehabilitation of an animal.

What is a warm-water treadmill?


It may seem unusual at first to see dogs or cats walking on a treadmill and submerged in warm water, but this hydro-therapy technique is used in the recovery process for several different reasons and yields multiple benefits.

The thermal benefit of the warm water increases blood flow to areas that need to heal, relieves pain and relaxes muscles and connective tissue, allowing for deeper stretches and a wider range of motion during exercise speeding up the recovery process and reducing the risk of reinjury.

The water is integral to an injury-free and fast recovery because it allows animals to build back strength, range of motion and endurance while walking on the treadmill with lower impact on their body. This is important for animals with osteoarthritis needing to lose weight as well as dogs and cats recovering from muscle atrophy, geriatric care, soft-tissue injuries, postoperative fractures, neurologic impairment, and loss of limbs. A warm-water treadmill can help pets with everything from strength building to weight loss as well as weight loss for pets with aching joints.

What is a balance board?

The balance board is used as a low unstable surface. The patient is asked to put one or more paws on the board to improve balance and strengthen stabilizer muscles.

What are cavalettis?


With the caveletti poles, the patient is asked to step over the caveletti without touching them for the purpose of enhancing proprioceptive balance, strengthening the flexor muscles, and elongating the length of stride.

What is an endless pool?


Swimming in the endless pool elicits a greater active range of motion in the shoulders and elbows compared to land walking. Aquatic therapy increases the comprehensive challenge to coordination, balance, cardiopulmonary endurance and is an excellent resource for the nonambulatory patient.