What happens at my pet’s first visit?
One of our staff doctors or physical rehabilitation therapists will perform a nose to tail exam of your pet to check for any structural abnormalities and imbalances. An initial evaluation appointment usually lasts an hour. When appropriate, certain measurements will be taken of your pet (for example, thigh circumference or hind leg extension). Depending on the exam findings, a chiropractic adjustment, acupuncture, or laser therapy may be indicated. You’ll go home with a detailed treatment plan, including a list of and instructions for stretching and strengthening exercises you can perform at home. You’ll also receive an explanation of the rehab protocol we recommend for your pet and an understanding of the diagnosis.
How much does it cost?
The cost for your pet’s first session will vary depending on the treatment plan prescribed by one of our veterinarians. Your pet’s first appointment will consist of an initial evaluation, which may last up to an hour. Other modalities, such as acupuncture, chiropractic, or laser therapy may be indicated for your pet and are performed, with your consent, at an additional fee. You may be given an at-home program for your pet, such as stretching and strengthening exercises, as well as an explanation of the proposed treatment plan and goals. Additional treatments such as the SwimEx pool, underwater treadmill, massage, or a session in our gym, range in price. Please call our office for detailed pricing information.
How long will I have to bring my pet for rehab?
This is a hard question to answer because it depends on your pet and his condition. Our goal is to create a plan that meets your pet’s needs and your expectations. We also strive to create a program that will work for you, your budget, and your schedule.
Which methods of payment do you accept?
Cash, checks, and credit cards. In addition, many pet insurance companies now cover physical rehabilitation with the condition that it is performed in a veterinary clinical setting with a veterinarian prescribing the treatment, and GVR meets this criterion.
Can I swim my dog at GVR for exercise?
At this time, all sessions in our SwimEx pool are under the guidance of a trained GVR staff member, including exercise sessions. It is possible that in the future we will have a program for owner-directed swim sessions.
Do you give vaccines? Bloodwork? X-rays? Surgery?
No, we do not. We see ourselves as part of a team partnering with you and your pet’s primary care veterinarian, so it is our expectation that you will continue to utilize your pet’s veterinarian for these types of services. If you are in need of a specialist, we are happy to help you find a resource for one.
Will you tell my pet’s primary care veterinarian about our visit?
Yes. After your pet’s visit, we’ll update your pet’s veterinarian on our findings, and our recommended treatment plan.
Does pet insurance cover veterinary rehab?
Check with your pet’s insurer to be sure, but, yes, many pet insurance companies do cover physical rehabilitation treatments, particularly when performed in a veterinary clinic and prescribed and overseen by a veterinarian as is the case at GVR.
Is what you do physical therapy for pets?
Yes! But the term “physical therapy” is, in most places within the U.S., a protected term that can only be used by a person who is a licensed physical therapist. So we use the term veterinary rehabilitation or physical rehabilitation to describe what we do.
My dog doesn’t seem to have any problems; why would I bring him to see you?
The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” holds true in veterinary physical rehabilitation. An evaluation can help us pinpoint, early on, any structural problems or imbalances and address them before they become an issue. Preventative care such as regular chiropractic adjustments can also help your pet to weather the daily demands of play, exercise, minor accidents, and aging with greater success. Just like a car, keeping your dog’s body finely tuned will pay dividends in the long run: you’ll get more mileage out of him!
What is rehabilitation?
Rest alone after injury usually does not relieve the problems caused by inflammation and spasm. The body adapts and protects the injured area long after healing has started. These protective mechanisms alter movement of the whole musculoskeletal system and increase strain on other areas. Rehabilitation should start as soon as possible after injury.
Why choose a rehabilitation veterinarian?
A rehab veterinarian is a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) and is highly trained to diagnose and provide therapy for animals with disease and injury. In addition, rehab veterinarians have advanced training, expertise, and most importantly, experience in the management of pain and loss of function through injury and illness.
Many rehab veterinarians have post-doctorate training in the areas of orthopedic surgery, pain management, acupuncture, chiropractic and/or rehabilitation that has led to specialization and/or certification in these fields. People who are not veterinarians can also perform some forms of physical rehabilitation on animals; these people include physical therapists trained in animal rehab, human chiropractors who have trained in animal chiropractic, animal massage therapists and physical therapy assistants. However, only a veterinarian can provide whole body care, prescribe needed medicines, and perform a veterinary diagnostic evaluation prior to designing a treatment plan.