Multi-Modal Approaches to Veterinary Rehabilitation at UVS
August 11th, 2015 | Posted in Procedures / Services
The term “Multi-Modal” is used often to describe the application of a combination of available strategies for the treatment of illness or injury. Dr. Laura Perez, DVM, CVA, CCRT and Danielle Samuelson, LVT, CCRT with the veterinary rehabilitation service at Upstate Veterinary Specialties in Latham recognize that a combination of treatment modalities can aid in the recuperation of the patients they treat.
A key goal in helping patients recover from surgery or those in need of long-term supportive care is pain- and inflammation-relief. The use of devices which emit energy at frequencies and intensities beyond what is visible (i.e. lasers) or what is audible (such as ultrasound) is a method for promoting healing.
-Sometimes laser therapy also complements other therapeutic methods which support skeletal and neurological healing. Often, older dogs with arthritic joints or sore muscles can benefit from the application of a therapeutic laser.
– Therapeutic ultrasound employs high frequency sound waves. The frequency and recurrence of pulses are different than the diagnostic ultrasound used by a veterinary radiologist to capture images of what is going on inside the body. Instead of creating a picture, the ultrasound is used to send the sound waves into an area of the body where there is inflammation to promote healing.
–eStim or NMES (Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation) is also a therapeutic tool which the UVS rehabilitation department uses to support many patients’ recovery. By targeting electrical stimulation to an area of injury or disuse, the skeletal muscles which do not function normally are triggered. This may assist a pet who is unable to walk or exercise to regain his or her strength over time.
Underwater treadmill is often used in the UVS rehabilitation department to increase a patient’s strength over time. Provided with a boost to their own buoyancy in water, most of these patients are able to experience gains in their physical strength during a course of physical rehabilitation.
Some partially paralyzed dogs’ underwater treadmill time may be assisted by an overhead lift apparatus. Helping them feel like an animal without a disability is beneficial to them both physically and emotionally. Dr. Perez and Danielle also routinely facilitate the ordering of mobility devices, such as braces or carts.
For many patients, the goal is supporting them in a way that allows them to proceed with life despite a disability. The veterinary rehabilitation group at UVS in Latham, NY is committed to supporting pets in the Capital District regain their mobility following surgery or illness.