Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy

The physical rehabilitation of animals is a new area of veterinary medicine which has become essential in providing the best opportunities for our companions to recover from orthopedic surgery, soft tissue injuries and decrease the pain and immobility of arthritis. Common physical rehabilitation modalities include: massage therapy, therapeutic laser treatment, transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation (TENS), laser, neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and our underwater treadmill.

Rehabilitation therapy assists in treating orthopedic injuries, neurological conditions and chronic conditions brought about by normal aging in our pets. These musculoskeletal and neurologic conditions can result in weakness, pain, decreased range of motion, loss of coordination, decreased endurance and difficulty with normal daily activities.

You should consider rehabilitation to improve your dog’s well being and improved quality of life if you dog has:

  • higher susceptibility to injury
  • neurological problems
  • recently undergone orthopedic surgery and requires immediate rehabilitation
  • chronic pain due to age or other medical issues
  • is obese and would benefit from weight loss

Canine Rehabilitation Goals

  • Quicker recovery from injuries
  • Decrease pain
  • Increase Strength & Joint Flexibility & Mobility
  • Maximize Recovery Following Surgery
  • Improve conditions in both athletic pets & arthritic pets
  • Improve neurologic defects with balance and proprioceptive training
  • Assists with weight loss efforts

Facilities and Equipment

Heated, Underwater Treadmill

The canine underwater treadmill dramatically speeds recovery from orthopedic and neurologic surgery. The therapeutic effects of water are combined with exercise to provide a safe and comfortable workout. The resistance of the water and the reduction of weight bearing allows for a more pain-free exercise on arthritic or traumatized joints. Speed, water level, and water temperature can be adjusted to suit the dog’s individual needs. The low impact work is also perfect for beginning a weight loss program.

Laser Treatment

Laser therapy is used to increase the speed, quality and tensile strength of tissue repair, resolve inflammation, and give pain relief.

Ultrasound Therapy

Ultrasound therapy is a deep heating unit that can assist with breaking up scar tissue, expedite the healing process, increase blood supply to the affected area and reduces pain and stiffness.

TENS unit for electrical nerve stimulation

  • Reduces pain and swelling
  • Increases circulation
  • Aids in preventing muscle atrophy
  • Increases range of motion

Balance board, BOSU board, Fitness Ball

Exercising on this equipment improves a dog’s balance and proprioception, which is the sense of knowing where a body part is in space. The BOSU ball is also used for increasing range of motion and flexibility, improving reflexes and building up muscle tone and endurance.

The following are conditions can be treated with rehabilitation.

Orthopedic Conditions

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Knee Surgery: TPLO, TTA
  • Hip Surgery: Total Hip Replacement, TPO, FHO
  • Fracture Repair and Amputation
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Tendonitis
  • Trauma
  • Athletic Injuries
  • Muscle Tears, Sprains and Strains

Neurologic Conditions

  • Back/Neck Pain
  • Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD)
  • Balance/Vestibular Disorders
  • Paralysis
  • Proprioception Deficits
  • Degenerative Myelopathy

Other Conditions

  • Wound Care
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Geriatric Support Care
  • Pain Management
  • Obesity
  • Athletic and Working Dogs – strength, endurance, conditioning

Our therapy staff

Bob Rider DVM, CCRT

Dr. Rider is a 1995 graduate of the Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine and completed his CCRT (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist) training on 2010. He performs advanced orthopedic surgery including TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) for Anterior Cruciate Ligament repair.

Meredith White CCRA

Ms. White joined Metzger Animal Hospital in 2009 as a veterinary assistant and completed her CCRA (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Assistant) certification in 2010.

Location Hours

This location is open 24 hours a day/
7 days a week

We are open 24/7 for emergency appointments. Please call us at any time at 814-237-5333

For scheduled appointments, we are open
Monday 7:30 am-7:00 pm
Tuesday 7:30 am-7:00 pm
Wednesday 7:30 am-7:00 pm
Thursday 7:30 am-7:00 pm
Friday 7:30 am-5:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am-1:00 pm
Sunday No scheduled appointment hours