Rehabilitation means to restore to normal function.
A Rehabilitation Veterinarian is someone who helps animals in their recovery from surgery or injury. A rehab vet may also help puppies or dogs who have been diagnosed with orthopaedic conditions like elbow or hip dysplasia, or who are suffering from arthritis in their later years.
Veterinary rehabilitation borrows from many disciplines, such as physiotherapy, exercise physiology and occupational therapy, and applies those principles, translating techniques to accommodate for the different anatomy and needs of cats and dogs.
Consultations in veterinary rehabilitation are designed to help you and your pet develop solutions for recovery. Your rehabilitation veterinarian may guide you through the problem and work with you to tailor a solution that will work best for you and your pet, so that they can live their best life.
Veterinary rehabilitation is a unique partnership that puts the solution for your pet’s recovery into your hands.
Lindy has over 25 years experience as a practicing veterinarian and over 10 years working as a rehabilitation veterinarian.
Lindy graduated from Melbourne University in 1995 with a BVSc(hons) and went to practice her craft in general practice in remote and rural Australia. After a stint in the UK and travelling around the world, she settled with her family Newcastle in NSW.
In 2010 she obtained her membership to the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Small Animal Surgery.
While performing small animal orthopaedic procedures, Lindy started to explore rehabilitation techniques for her patients to assist their recovery. She went on to study veterinary rehabilitation at the University of Tennessee and became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner in 2017.
Lindy has a unique perspective on rehabilitation, with a comprehensive and intimate knowledge of surgical procedures, and can develop a range of strategies, customised for your pet’s recovery.
Veterinary Rehabilitation is a referral service and Lindy is happy to work with your regular vet to find a customised solution to suit you and your pet.
Rehabilitation programs are wide ranging and may include massage therapy, exercise therapy, pain management and weight management programs. Massage and exercise techniques are explained and demonstrated in consultations, so that you can continue your pet’s recovery at home.
Rehabilitation consultations are available at various locations in Newcastle.
For clients that are further afield, or for pets that hate coming to the vet, online consultations are also available.
Whether in person or online, Lindy will work with you and your pet until they are back to their best.
Massage techniques are central to rehabilitation. No injury ever happens in isolation. Your dog has four legs and will shift their weight off the limb that is hurting, placing strain along the back and working their good legs overtime. This often leads to trigger points or muscle tightness and a general feeling of stiffness throughout.
Massage techniques are both relaxing and therapeutic for your pet.
Trigger point therapies help release tension in specific muscles and fascial plane massages help with compensatory soreness and in some dogs, myofascial pain syndrome.
Other specific techniques help relieve swelling and oedema around surgical sites and release muscle groups that have become tight or short due to overuse.
Joint mobilisations may also be used to improve specific joint function and help to improve the range of those joints, that may be impeded by scar tissue and soft tissue restrictions.
Therapeutic exercise aims to build strength, endurance and improve function and is typically incorporated into all rehab programs.
Exercises are demonstrated in clinic and then continued at home. Lindy uses exclusively positive reward training AND is Low stress handling certified.
There are detailed written instructions and video support for the customised programs, so that you can feel confident while helping your pet to recover.
Therapeutic exercises improve balance, proprioception, core strength and can build muscle in specific groups to improve function.
Surgical rehabilitation programs are designed to get your pet back on their feet and maximise the benefits of their surgical procedure. It makes sense that you want the best outcome for your furry friend and surgical rehabilitation programs deliver on those goals.uyyrtrtr
Rehabilitation can begin in the early post operative period, once your pet is back home, and continues until they are back to their best. Visits are spaced between two and four weeks apart for most orthopaedic procedures and continue until there is full healing and recovery of function.
If your pet has had surgery and didn’t have the opportunity to do a structured rehab program, it’s not too late. Massage therapy, trigger point releases and exercise programs can help at any stage in recovery to improve function and outcomes of surgery.
Spinal rehabilitation is usually a very intense program. There is a strong focus on getting your pet back on their feet, while protecting the surgical site and building strength. Rest is a critical component of spinal rehabilitation, but early rehabilitation exercise programs can build strength and function until your pet is back on their feet, literally.
We will step you through the program, supporting you and your pet at all stages of their recovery. It is reassuring to know that we have been helping dogs to find their feet and walk again – and have a range of strategies to get you both there.
Spinal rehabilitation often incorporates laser therapy as well as massage and exercise programs. Hydrotherapy is often part of a spinal recovery program and we work collaboratively to achieve the best for your pet.
We also utilise vibration plate technology to maintain muscle strength while your pet isn’t walking.
There is nothing more satisfying than teaching dogs to walk again.
(If your pet doesn’t make a full recovery we are also well placed to provide mobility aids to improve your pets quality of life.)
Rehabilitation programs can be developed to support your pet through the pain of arthritis in their twilight years.
Arthritis plans integrate pain management, weight management as well as utilising rehab techniques such as laser therapy, massage therapy and exercise therapy programs.
The use it or lose it principle applies…and Lindy has also discovered that it is hard for pets to get strong while they are still hurting.
An arthritis plan provides you with a strategy for the future, and a plan to keep your pet moving and living life, right to the end.
Laser therapy is a non pharmaceutical technique to relieve pain, inflammation and accelerate healing. Lasers stimulate a process in the body called photobiomodulation. Photobiomodulation is light induced change deep in the tissues, that accelerates the healing process by making energy available at the cellular level.
Laser therapy can be used for spinal patients to stimulate the recovery of the spinal cord.
We have used laser therapy to speed recovery in hypoxic brain injuries (house fires.)
Laser is used in trauma cases where there are severe abrasions or skin injuries, or crush injuries.
It is also helpful in arthritis cases and can provide pain relief when your dog is limited in the pain relief medication they can take due to other illnesses, such as kidney disease.
Laser is also helpful in cats, where long term anti-inflammatory pain management is not recommended.