Post-Surgery Rehabilitation in Pets
The majority of humans that have surgery in hospital will find themselves being assessed by a rehabilitation facilitator and given exercises and therapy to assist in their recovery. This rehabilitation often starts within 48hrs post surgery and continues throughout the weeks following surgery. Research shows that rehabilitation aids in peoples recovery and they often regain normality sooner. Our pets, however, often don’t receive the same rehabilitation services as their lucky homosapien friends. This is something which is changing throughout the veterinary industry and you will find that the majority of specialist clinics will provide some sort of rehabilitation program for their post surgical patients. This rehabilitation also starts within the first 48hrs post surgery and continues into the weeks following surgery. Numerous general practice veterinary clinics are following suit and are providing exceptional care, including post operative rehabilitation services.
Rehabilitation includes treatments such as applying ice, myotherapy, passive range of motion, weight shifting exercises, encouraging/ activating proprioception, physiotherapy, muscle strengthening exercises, hydrotherapy and home exercise tasks. The initial rehabilitation should be done by a trained animal professional such as a Veterinarian, Myotherapist or Physiotherapist. They should have knowledge regarding the surgical case and the overall health of the animal. Compliant owners can be taught certain exercises and tasks which they can perform at home. The majority of owners will be enthusiastic about being included in their pets’ rehabilitation program.
Pets receiving treatment for rehabilitation often have a hastened recovery period, return to normal activity sooner, experience less post operative complications and experience the full benefits of having the surgery performed. Owners should be offered rehabilitation for the pet or at least be given information about where they can find such professional help. This could be in the form of a qualified animal Myotherapist, Physiotherapist or a Veterinarian with knowledge on different forms of rehabilitation.
At the end of the day, these owners have paid a significant amount of money for their pets’ surgery as we all know too well that our Medicare cards don’t allow rebates for our furry family members. Therefore, owners should be given every opportunity to ensure their pet is appropriately rehabilitated and given the opportunity to make a speedy, successful recovery from the quality surgery that they have paid for.