Using Physiotherapy to Help Pets


TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – Animals suffer the same injuries we do. And in many cases, they receive the same types of treatment. A local veterinary clinic offers several options under one roof.

You’ve no doubt heard of physical therapy for people, but what about pets? It is a growing part of the veterinary industry. It includes everything from laser therapy to acupuncture and walking on underwater treadmills.

Calamity Jane or CJ is one of the pets helped by the therapy programs here at West Toledo Veterinary Hospital. She was found by the side of a road, unable to use her hind legs.

Jean Keating is the executive director of the Lucas County Pit Crew. “She’s super nice. She wants to see everyone, and if she hears a voice, she wants to go see. He’s a great dog.”

CJ was picked up by the Pit Crew earlier this year. After extensive medical tests, Keating says it was discovered that she had a bullet lodged in her spine. “She’s a very sweet dog, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to hurt her.”

Surgery is not an option. CJ gets around using a custom cart and she comes to West Toledo for therapy. “She hasn’t had hydrotherapy yet, but that’s the point of getting her in the water and getting her legs moving. Right now they’re working on its core, so they’re working on balancing and things like that.

Within weeks, CJ made progress. “She is very adaptable. She moves quite well in her cart. She seems to be fine with her new routine.

The West Toledo therapy team on Secor Road works with 10-15 animals each day. And the list of options is long.

Dr. Sam Amodeo is with West Toledo Animal Hospital. “Land exercises, acupuncture, laser therapy, chiropractic, underwater treadmill, ultrasound therapy, TENS unit, PEMF mat.”

And when it comes to results for animals that have lost the use of a leg. “Sometimes after 2-3 weeks they walk on their own again. Sometimes it can take up to six months, it just depends on the case.

What about animals that have undergone surgery? “Therapies help reduce recovery time. They can also help prevent further surgeries and reduce the risk of arthritis, among other things.

The programs are personalized for each animal. “Because they can’t tell you what’s wrong, they just want help. So there is no placebo effect. The animals really want to get better, all I have to do is give them the directions and their bodies do it.

It’s not just dogs, cats also participate in therapy programs. Some cats even use underwater treadmills. Treatments are available both at West Toledo Animal Hospital on Secor Road, as well as at the new clinic in Rossford.

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