Modalities of Therapy


hydrotherapy for dogsWater is a fabulous environment in which to exercise. The principle of buoyancy combined with that of resistance make this a most unique and safe method of rehabilitation. We have an underwater treadmill that provides an opportunity to strengthen muscles with little to no pressure on the patient’s joints. The warmth of the water helps to increase flexibility and mobility of muscles, tendons, ligaments that surround the joints as well as enhance circulation.

It is not unusual for an animal that is not using a limb on land to use it when walking in the water. They often use it in an exaggerated motion which adds to the therapeutic benefits of hydrotherapy.

We can adjust variables of speed, duration of treatment and water level during each treatment to maximize our treatment plan.

Benefits of Hydrotherapy:

  • Comfortable Movement
  • Earlier Return to Function
  • Muscle Strengthening
  • Increased Cardiovascular Stamina
  • Neuromuscular Re-Education
  • Weight Loss
  • Increase in Patient’s Self Confidence


Acupuncture is the insertion of thin needles into a patient at specific locations resulting in targeted stimulation of the nervous system. The nervous system is the body’s communications network, and it is capable of altering the biochemical and physiologic properties of any intact body system.

Learn more about veterinary acupuncture therapy available at The Canine Rehabilitation Center.

animal chiropracticAnimal Chiropractic

The purpose of chiropractic care for your animals is to help them reestablish a clear communication pathway in their nervous system, thereby allowing the body to function at an optimum level. A chiropractic adjustment may consist of lighter touch energy-type work as well as deeper force impulses into the spine and extremities, stretching work, muscle work, gait analysis, and lifestyle modification recommendations, depending on the specific needs of the animal. The results of chiropractic adjustments may include increased energy, balanced gait, increased coordination, and an overall higher quality of life. Many owners find that their animals find relief from pain and long term dysfunctions with consistent adjustments. Regular wellness visits are also just as important as those when the animal is in pain, as pain is often one of the last signs our bodies will give us when there is an underlying problem. A typical adjustment lasts between 15 and 30 minutes. All dogs and cats are welcome to receive chiropractic care regardless of their age, function, and pain level.

Pulsed Signal Therapy

We are proud to be the first rehabilitation center in Northern California with the patented PST machine from Biomagnetics Therapy System. ( For over 20 years PST is used extensively in Europe for the treatment of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other injuries in people and animals. Human clinical trials showed significant improvement in pain and performance of daily activities in 85% of treated patients. In the United State use is currently limited to animals.

pulsed signal therapyThe principle behind the PST is based upon the fact that there is an electrical field around each healthy joint and this field participates in the continual regeneration of cartilage. Cartilage is the important cushion between the bones that make up a joint. If inflammation develops, as it does with arthritis, there is a disturbance in the electrical field. As arthritis progresses the cartilage is broken down and this causes pain with movement. The PST returns the regenerative capabilities by repairing the electrical field disturbance. This allows an increase in the production of proteoglycans and collagen to aid in repairing damaged cartilage. PST is a great addition to other therapies or as an alternative for patients that can not tolerate NSAIDs. It is painless and has not known side effects.

The treatment protocol is (9) thirty minute consecutive daily treatments. A consolidated treatment regimen can be done. Improvement can be noted in the treatment phase but is usually not seen for several weeks. We consider the maximal benefit evident at 16 weeks.

Low Level Laser Therapy

low level laser therapyLLLT is used to increase quality and strength of tissue repair, decrease inflammation and give pain relief. The effects are photochemical, not thermal and happen at the cellular level. Benefits include faster wound healing, increased vascular activity, stimulated nerve function, reduction of scar formation, and decreased inflammation.

Indications for Low Level Laser Therapy:

  • Wound management
  • Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Inflammation
  • Chronic Pain
  • Acupuncture

ASSISI Loop – Targeted Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Field Therapy (tPEMF)

The Assisi loop is an FDA cleared, evidence based therapy for non-invasive, non-pharmacological treatment of pain and swelling. The therapy has proven effective on pain for decades. Pulsed electromagnetic fields are highly effective in a diverse range of therapeutic applications with no side-effects or adverse reactions.  Read more…

Therapeutic Exercises

We evaluate each patient and design a set of exercises that are most effective in that patient’s rehabilitation. These are designed to achieve the goals set for that patient’s recovery. Exercises may be directed at helping the patient with strengthening specific muscles or stretching to increase flexibility or learning how to regain the feeling and use of a foot or limb. We demonstrate each activity in our hospital and teach our clients to perform these at home on a prescribed schedule. We try to incorporate the special needs and skills of patients and their families.

Therapeutic Ultrasound

Thermal effects of a therapeutic ultrasound can be very beneficial in treating soft tissue injuries. It can be used to increase the flexibility of muscles while decreasing muscle spasm and scar tissue. We have also found it can increase circulation and minimize inflammation of damaged tissues.

Heat and Cold Therapy

Appropriately times in the rehabilitation process, cold and heat can be very beneficial in decreasing pain and inflammation.

Initially, in the first 72 hours, we use cold therapy to decrease the pain and inflammation associated with surgery or trauma. This occurs by decreasing pain perception, decreasing blood flow and decreasing inflammation.

Heat therapy is used later in the healing process to increase blood flow, increase muscle flexibility decrease pain and increase healing.


Massage is not petting. Massage is a focused, intentional, and deliberate touch of a variety of stokes. Massage is a non-invasive way to improve your pet’s health. Massage utilizes soft tissue manipulation to achieve different goals such as relaxation, stimulation, and relief of muscle problems. It allows the body to function efficiently. Massage increases circulation bringing oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. Massage provides relief from many common ailments as well as enhances performance.

What Massage can do:

  • increase circulation & oxygenation to the cells of the body
  • decrease pain, soreness & stiffness
  • restore muscle tone
  • improve muscle function
  • increase flexibility & range of motion
  • relaxation and stress reduction

Dogs that may Benefit from Massage:

  • postoperative healing
  • orthopedic diseases
  • sports injuries
  • arthritis
  • hindquarter weakness
  • aging and inactivity
  • compensatory patterns due to structural imbalances/poor conformation