A relatively new treatment, animal physical therapy is exactly what it seems: physical therapy for animals. It employs the normal treatment modalities of human physical therapy, but adapts them to benefit animals.
Most animal physical therapy is geared toward dogs and horses, but many of the techniques can also be applied to cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, and other small animals.
Animal physical therapy techniques include hydrotherapy, massage, heat and ice therapy, ultrasound therapy, and passive range of motion activity (stretching the joints to encourage full range of motion). Balance, strength, and coordination exercises are also valuable techniques for animal physical therapy.
Designed to improve quality of life, physical therapy offers rehabilitation and pain reduction to animals suffering from chronic pain, degenerative diseases, age-related diseases, and obesity. This active rehabilitation also helps animals heal better and more quickly after surgery or injury by reducing inflammation, minimizing muscle atrophy, and normalizing joint function in the affected area.
This treatment is generally provided by licensed physical therapists who specialize in treating animals