Rehabilitation Steps After Pet Injury – 3 Steps

Pepper, a medium-sized black dog doing rehabilitation walks after rupturing her calcanean or Achilles tendon
Pepper Ruptured Calcanean Tendon

Three Steps After Pet Injury:

Here are short instructions for rehabilitation steps after pet injury and, hopefully you have already sought a diagnosis from your pet’s veterinarian for that injury. Please have your pet evaluated by a veterinarian if you have not done so already. When you do that, we may all have a working diagnosis and then hopefully be on the right track for your pets recovery.

I do also work on lots of cats, as well as a variety of other animals. For this reason, I often use the word “pets” instead of only using “dogs”. If you want to know more about cat or horse specifics right now (because I haven’t finished developing those info pages), please search the word cat or horse in the search box.

Where Does This Rehab Fit In?

These recommendations also work if your pet isn’t moving as well as they used to because of arthritis or advanced age, for instance, and you would like to help them become stronger.

It is very possible that your veterinarian does not know about this style of rehabilitation, and that’s not unusual or due to any error on their part. People ask me about this, so here is one of many possible answers:

I developed my rehab protocol based primarily on human exercise physiology, sports injury recovery, and principles of neuroscience, in collaboration with veterinary clinical and medical protocol. I also designed it to be performed by anyone in a small animal clinic or home-based, which was a completely new idea when I began my rehabilitation service.

For more specific info on a particular injury or diagnosis, please see the menu on this site or use the search box on this site. For more info on what pet rehabilitation is and what some of my qualifications are, please read this page or this page.

1) Get the right book with a successful plan for you to use at home or in the veterinary clinic.

Foundations:

The information in this booklet about torn ligament recovery without surgery also serves as a GREAT foundation-building, functional recovery base for older pets that have lost muscle mass & strength. The information is also what I use to build a base for pets that have lost proprioceptive abilities. This means they have lost the ability to maintain balance and know where they are physically in relation to their environment.

The four-week foundational program in this booklet is often what I use to help older dogs that are slipping on the floor of the house. They might also be having trouble rising from their bed or the floor, and/or are tripping over the doggie door threshold. This foundational program has helped many to improve their function at home.

You have to start with a specific foundation though, at the beginning, to make sure your pet has a solid base to improve upon and to help offset additional injury.

Right now I have published one book containing information about helping your pet build a foundational base through four progressive weeks of your work with them after injury. This is the book, then, to get you started and the one to order if your pet has lost any degree of function, especially in their hind end. Back end. Rear drive train.

This book is specifically addressing torn knee ligaments, yet until I am able to publish the books I am working on that deal with hip issues, other knee issues, elbows, old age/arthritis, and spinal issues, this book will help you help your pet with those issues, too. This book contains the restrictions and advice I would give to get you started after almost any orthopedic injury or diminished functional condition.

…And, Before All Else:

Please pay attention to the discharge instructions your veterinarian has given you if your pet just had surgery or you have received instruction regarding your pet’s injury. 

Please pay special attention to the part about no running, jumping, or playing.

If you follow my booklet instructions, you and your pet will be doing appropriate work toward recovery and should/will not be causing any harm. And, again, no running or jumping or playing!

You may use the directions I give to you on this site for allowable activity. And you should restrict any activity beyond my or your vet’s instructions for your injured or recovering pet. I repeat this forty dozen times because most of my clients, as well as I, have paid the price of cutting corners or eliminating information that is new to us. Because, information bias.

Injury Evaluation:

Your pet’s veterinarian really needs to evaluate most injuries sooner than later, even if you think you know exactly what the problem is.

I also recommend you do this as early in the week as possible, in the happy event that your pet injured themselves on a Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday! It sure will be a lot easier on you and your pet if you don’t have to contend with a Saturday or Sunday emergency clinic visit!

Moving On:

If you are using my programs, please do not add on additional work you or your acquaintances come up with until you have at least passed the four-week foundation with gold stars!

Please follow all the instructions for the best outcome. And,  Please do not, don’t,add swimming (no swimming yet), stairs (no stairs yet), hill repeats (no hill repeats yet), poles (no poles yet), cavalettis (no cavalettis yet), or any other dynamic activity.

Your pet may seem to be doing great and may seem to you like she/he is healed, especially if they have good pain medication, but I can assure you that biologically the minimum amount of time for soft tissue recovery is on average 8-12 weeks.

Some injuries and conditions take up to, and even over, a year to heal well (nerve damage, torn muscles, etc…), so please don’t get ahead of your pet’s recovery by using programs that don’t relate to biological recovery science and that push dynamic exercises prior to laying a good foundation and seeing progressive healing. I’ve encountered complications from hundreds of cases where people skipped steps needed to lay a solid foundation of healing, stability, and strength.

After the base is built, then always there are additional strengthening and proprioceptive drills to be done in order to return your pet to a better quality of movement and lifestyle!

Conservative treatment after torn knee ligament, instead of surgery:

Booklet on Amazon, and you should be able to order from any bookseller by using the ISBN, 978-0615900476 .

Also, if the injury you are concerned about is a torn knee ligament in your dog, then please click here to read more info (then return to the instructions on this page!).

2) In addition to thoroughly reading any of the above info, please watch > this video twice, and begin to do this massage daily for a month.

Please watch the video to see my recommendations on method of use for massager unit AND so you will hopefully have success introducing the buzzy massager.

I recommend that you watch it 2x, mostly because there is a lot of dialogue and I give a lot of instructions. Often clients miss some important details because they are thinking about the information they just heard and are processing. Maybe watch it five times.

As of 2023 this massage video is not monetized. I recommend you watch it several times because I find that I often also miss important bits when I’m listening to or watching vids; at some point I realize I missed a big chunk of info while I was processing another chunk of info.

Most of my clients report doing the same thing. I find this out when I show up for a recheck at the house and see that they have a rando, willy-nilly massage technique. The technique I recommend is a beneficial process with specificity of method :-).

I also wrote instructions on in the info under the video, if you want to know more.

Here is what the massager looks like,

and if you click on the picture or this link, you may buy it on Amazon if you choose.

I put additional information in the written instructions under the video about other places you might purchase this particular massager . I am often asked if this massager or that massager will work, and the answer is, “no, not as well”. There are “we love science” reasons for my choices.

3) If your pet is still limping 5-7 days or more after surgery, please read this > pain post < all the way through!

There is more on the topic of pain within the books-

Check out other resources under the “Rehab Resources & Tools” link in the menu under the website title at the top or by clicking here.

Blessings-
Rehabdeb

I may receive a small amount of USD from purchases you make using the links to Amazon on this site that I have provided. My receiving this small percentage does not increase your purchase price, as you probably already know 🙂

 

(Updated November 16, 2023. First posted on this site April, 2015)

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