What services are available at the Animal Rehabilitation Facility?

We provide rehabilitation services for post-operative surgeries such as ACL repair, luxating patella repair, elbow dysplasia, shoulder OCD surgery, fracture repair, spinal surgeries, and hip surgeries. We also do injury/lameness evaluations and consultations, sports fitness evaluations and consultations, geriatric/arthritic conditions evaluations and consultations, conditioning programs for weight loss, conditioning for the canine athlete, and acupuncture for geriatric, arthritic, and neurologic patients. Our natural healing methods include Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, Acupuncture, Herbal Therapy, Reiki and Pulsed Signal Therapy.

What is animal rehabilitation?

Animal rehabilitation is the art and science of using different techniques to help restore normal function to joints and muscles after injury or surgery. These techniques include therapeutic exercises, electrical stimulation, manual manipulations, massage, acupuncture and aquatic work such as swimming and underwater treadmill work. Normal function is restored by relieving pain, improving flexibility and mobility, and increasing strength

How long will rehab take?

The length of time an animal needs to rehabilitate will depend on several factors, including the type and severity of an injury, the type of surgery performed (if any), the condition of the patient at the time of the injury/surgery, the willingness and ableness of the owner to do rehab with their pet, and the compliance of the patient. At the initial evaluation and consultation, a plan specific to the patient’s needs will be formulated and discussed.

What should I expect for our initial rehabilitation evaluation appointment?

During your pet’s initial evaluation we will be performing a thorough musculoskeletal examination, neurological examination, chiropractic examination and lameness examination. We do virtually all of our evaluations on a cushion on the floor versus up on an exam table to try to keep your pet’s stress level low, so please dress accordingly as many of them are more comfortable if you are able to sit down on the floor with them too. We also tend to use a fair number of treats to create a positive experience for your pet, as well as test flexibility, so if your pet has any food restrictions or sensitivities please bring a small baggie of “safe” treats. For some portions of the evaluation it is necessary to have your pet lying on his/her side. If you feel that you will be unable to restrain your pet for the doctor to examine him/her, please phone our office prior to your appointment to let us know so we can schedule our staff accordingly. We do allocate 2 hours for this evaluation to allow us time to give them wiggle breaks if needed.

This thorough evaluation will allow us to identify all areas of pain, tenderness, swelling, or weakness, as well as any neurological deficits that may exist. Dr. Mary can then put together all this information into a customized treatment plan for your pet. If indicated, we will demonstrate certain stretches, exercises, or massage for you to perform at home until your next visit. We often will choose to perform treatments to focus on pain relief in conjunction with this session, but typically do not begin rehabilitation or hydrotherapy until the next visit, as most dogs are “done” mentally and can’t really focus on working after the evaluation

What should I expect for our first acupuncture appointment?

Your pet’s initial consultation will be about an hour long and will include a conventional Western exam, a TCVM exam, and the first acupuncture session. A series of 4-6 weekly treatments are usually needed before a consistent response is seen. As the treatment progresses, sessions will be spaced monthly, quarterly or twice yearly depending on the particular condition and your pet’s individual response to treatment. Follow-up visits are usually a half-hour long. Pets are usually calm during acupuncture treatments. The placement of the needles causes very little pain. Most pets become very relaxed, or quite sleepy during the treatment, and many of them start to look forward to their sessions!

Can I get in the pool with my dog?

Unfortunately, we cannot allow you to enter the pool with your dog. However, you may be in the room, and may interact by feeding treats, praising, and throwing a ball or bumper. If your dog needs some encouragement one of our staff will get in the pool with him or her.

How do I make an appointment?

Call us directly at 734-253-2722 to schedule an appointment. Please be aware that we are frequently working with patients so you may need to leave a message. Your call is important and every effort is made to return calls as soon as possible. Please have your veterinarian fill out our Referral Form and fax to us before your first appointment.

How do I get to ARF?

We are located at: 8040 4th Street Dexter, MI 48130 P: 734-253-2722 F: 734-253-2736

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