What is Post Operative Rehabilitation?

Following on from surgery, post op rehabilitation can help our tailor-made rehabilitation protocols will get your pet on the road to recovery. Common surgeries for which rehabilitation may be beneficial include TPLO, post-disc, cruciate ligament repairs, total hip replacements, fracture repairs, back or neck surgeries, femoral head or neck otectomies (FHO’s), patella luxation’s, elbow surgery/arthroscopy, and other orthopaedic-related surgery. It may also be beneficial to pets who have suffered injury affecting their muscles, bones, ligaments, or tendons.

What techniques do we use with post operative rehabilitation?

Physiotherapy following surgery can be used to maximise the success of surgery so that recovery can be optimised. By following protocols and working collaboratively with orthopaedic surgeons and pet owners, Physio-Vet can suggest treatments that will benefit. Laser therapy, when indicated, reduces post operative pain & inflammation and decreases healing times. Massage may also be recommended to loosen tight muscles, and our underwater treadmill can allow muscles to rebuild be decreasing stress on joints. When this is combined with a controlled rehab programme and dedicated owner support, your pet will see see positive results more quickly.

Physiotherapy Services Available

Physiotherapy – this increases range of movement in joints, joint health, circulation and trigger points.

Laser – this encourages wound healing, increases blood supply and gives pain relief.

Ultrasound – this reduces swelling and inflammation, breaks down adhesions.

Electrical muscle stimulation – this helps prevent muscle atrophy and helps build muscle.

Under Water Treadmill (UWTM) – walking in the water allows joint movement with reduced weight bearing, it builds muscle, gives pain relief and burns calories for weight.

Shockwave – this does not use electric shocks but large changes in pressure using sound waves. The intensity of shockwave stimulates growth factors and can dissolve calcium deposits in tendons and around joints. It is particularly useful in shoulder tendinopathies, osteoarthritis, lumbosacral disease and ligament repair – dogs do not usually need sedating.

Acupuncture – we offer acupuncture and electro acupuncture. These treatments work well in neurological cases such as a slipped disc and degenerative myelopathy, as well as being excellent as part of a pain management strategy.

Neurological Rehabilitation – using appropriate stimuli and techniques it is possible retrain spinal cases to walk again.

Collection service – for spinal cases, rehabilitation is often better done in short sessions throughout the day as these patients tire quickly. We offer a service where we will collect the dog or cat from the referring veterinary. practice in the morning, take it to Physio-Vet for treatments throughout the day. The pet will then be returned to the referring practice in the afternoon/early evening.

Weight and nutrition advice and clinics – we offer expert advice and support to manage obesity and joint conditions

AIM-OA Sys – this is a program developed here at Physio-Vet, to provide a complete arthritis care plan for the patient, including pain management, joint improvement, dietary and exercise advice.

Orthotic devices – we offer advice on splints, carts, harnesses and other assistance devices to help support specific problems.

Patients That Benefit

Cruciate disease – Surgical and Non-surgical management. We offer the treatment most appropriate for the size and age of dog. For surgical cases we offer the TPLO (tibial plateau leveling osteotomy) procedure. Non- surgical and post op. cases are managed with a combination of stem cells, laser, UWTM, physiotherapy and a home exercise program.

Post op – we offer a full rehabilitation program which reduces swelling, speeds up recovery times, helps prevent muscle atrophy and gives pain relief.

Elbow and hip dysplasia – we offer X-ray/arthroscopy/CT investigation, stem cells, a full rehabilitation package that stimulates cartilage regeneration, builds supporting musculature, maintains joint range of motion and gives pain relief.

Shoulder lameness – conditions such as shoulder instability syndrome and shoulder tendinopathies are notoriously difficult to treat without specialist equipment and knowledge the Physio-Vet team possess.

Osteoarthritis (OA) – we are one of the busiest arthritis clinics in Europe seeing over 60 cases a week. Our multimodal approach gives far better results than medication alone.

Neurological cases – disc disease, degenerative myelopathy all respond well to intensive physiotherapy. Proprioceptive pathways can be retrained and physiotherapy makes a very significant difference to the outcome in these dogs and cats

Muscle wasting – many older dogs suffer muscle wasting, particularly in the back legs. Physiotherapy, underwater treadmill work and a home exercise program will help maintain and even increase muscle mass.

Weight loss – overweight patients benefit from specialist nutritional advice and fat burning exercise without overloading the joints

Fitness – strengthens muscle groups to help prevent injury in at risk groups

Athlete – the agility, fly ball, obedience and IPO dogs suffer a range of specific sporting injuries. These are sometimes quite subtle and difficult to diagnose in practice. They require specialist investigation, treatment and physiotherapy regimes for recovery to full fitness

Pain – physiotherapy and acupuncture are very useful for the management of pain in conjunction with, and without medication. These treatments are particularly useful in NSAID intolerant patients including cats.


Cruciate Ligament

Hip Dysplasia

Neurological Rehabilitation

Elbow Dysplasia

Post Op Rehab

Sports Dog Injuries

Surgical Treatments

If you would like your pet to be seen by one of the Physio Vet team, then the initial contact should be made by your normal veterinary surgeon. A referral can only be made by them, who will provide us with all the medical information we require in order to treat your pet. Once we have this information, we will then arrange everything else, but please feel free to contact us to discuss the process in further detail, or if you have any questions.