In recent years, more and more veterinarians are becoming trained in pet physical therapy. This type of therapy usually involves some sort of swim and water therapy, in addition to physical manipulations and massage of affected body parts. In addition, electrical stimulation is also sometimes done to reduce inflammation and/or enhance circulation.
Physical therapy has especially been useful in orthopedic and neurologic cases and injuries to complement medical and surgical therapy, and has certainly helped reduce pain and enhance healing. In older pets with degenerative joint disease and/or spinal disease, physical therapy has become an increasingly important part of a comprehensive and integrative approach to patient care.
When choosing a veterinarian to perform physical therapy on your pet, it is important to make sure that the veterinarian has taken adequate coursework and ongoing continuing education to make sure that they are proficient in offering this new and exciting modality.