Pain management and rehabilitation is a new and growing field in veterinary medicine, especially for dogs and cats. Similar to human medicine, veterinary pain management and rehabilitation focuses on the treatment of injuries and illnesses with the goals of decreasing pain, restoring function, increasing rates of recovery, and enhancing quality of life. Treatments utilize a variety of non-invasive techniques including (but not limited to) therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, laser therapy, weight management, medications and supplements to achieve these goals. They address a wide range of conditions including neurological, geriatric, post-surgical, and orthopedic diagnoses.
Diagnoses commonly treated:
End-of-life pain management
Intervertebral disc disease
Peripheral nerve disease
Therapeutic exercises are the foundation of pain management and rehabilitation programs. The exercises and equipment utilized are tailored specifically to a pet's medical condition and owner/pet goals. Some of the common goals of therapeutic exercise include improving pain-free range of motion, increasing flexibility, developing muscle mass and strength, improving balance, and restoring proper gait mechanics. These exercises promote quicker recovery from surgery or injury, allow functional independence, and help restore quality of life. Therapeutic exercises can also be used for general conditioning and injury prevention.
Manual therapy encompasses a wide variety of treatments applied with the hands. Treatments target dysfunctional tissues and joints in your pet's body that might be contributing to his/her condition. Common aspects of treatment include soft tissue massage, joint mobilization, passive range of motion, and manual stretching. Together these techniques work to increase circulation, break up scar tissue, relax muscles, improve flexibility, increase range of motion, promote good alignment, and ease pain. The hands-on aspect of manual therapy treatment is a vital part of understanding what is limiting your pet.
Medical acupuncture involves the insertion of small, sterile needles into specific points on the body. While common thought is that these points correspond to the flow of energy, medical acupuncture points correspond to nerves, vessels, and myofascial planes. Acupuncture works to decrease pain, inflammation, and soft tissue restrictions while improving blood flow, healing, and overall quality of life for your pet. While acupuncture is not without sensation, it is often a positive and relaxing experience for your pet. Island Paws provides acupuncture individually or in conjunction with your pet's overall plan of care.
Electroacupuncture is similar to medical acupuncture in that the same points are stimulated during treatment; however, the acupuncture needles are attached to a device that generates continuous electric pulses using small clips. The frequency and intensity of the impulse being delivered can be adjusted depending on the condition being treated and your pet's comfort level. Electroacupuncture has been determined to be a safe and effective treatment for pain, muscle spasms, and neurological disorders. It is similar to the use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, also known as TENS, in humans.
Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) is a modality which sends electrical impulses to nerves, mimicking the action of the central nervous system to cause specifically targeted muscle groups to contract. As an adjunct to traditional physical therapy, NMES of healthy muscle is intended to gain range of motion, to facilitate voluntary muscle control, to reduce muscle spasticity, and to strengthen muscle mass following periods of forced inactivity. NMES is most commonly used to offset effects of disuse that may occur after prolonged immobilization, surgery, or injury.
Laser therapy is a non-surgical, non-invasive and painless therapy that uses modulated infrared rays to stimulate the body's cells in injured areas to promote healing. Some of the well-documented biological effects of laser therapy are cartilage stimulation, production of fibroblasts (the cells that create healing), enhancement of immune cells, and increased blood supply. Laser is particularly helpful for arthritis, degenerative joint disease, fractures, joint problems, and soft tissue injuries. Laser therapy can be a beneficial adjunct to your pet's overall pain management and rehabilitation program.
Obesity is one of the most common diseases facing our pets. Not only is it the primary cause of osteoarthritis, but obesity can also lead to hormonal problems (like diabetes), organ disorders, cardiovascular issues, cancer, and a shorter life span. While diet management is a key component to weight loss, equally important is exercise. Island Paws provides opportunities for diet consultation, therapeutic exercise (strength training, core stabilization, general conditioning, walking programs), home program development, and ultimate weight reduction in a safe and controlled manner.
Medications are drugs utilized to treat a medical condition. Supplements are a diverse category of products that can be eaten or drank to support good health and nutrition. The use of medications and supplements are an integral part of addressing musculoskeletal and neurologic conditions. When prescribing and recommending these products, Island Paws takes into account all variables - type of disease, chronicity of issue, potential side effects, financial cost, and research-based efficacy of the product - so that a plan can be offered to your pet’s specific needs.
Prices vary according to extent of injury, location of treatment, and involvement of therapies.
An initial evaluation is required to get to know you and your pet. It consists of a thorough medical history review, a comprehensive physical exam, program design, initial treatment, and development of a home exercise program. It runs 90 minutes and costs $130.
Follow-up treatments are dependent on the goals of you and your pet. They range from 30-60 minutes and cost $30-$100 based on the nature of treatment and the time dedicated to your pet.