Chris Cranston, MPT, CCRP, as both a Physical Therapist and a Small Animal Rehabilitationist, often hears, "I didn't know there is Physical Therapy for dogs," quickly followed by, "What conditions do you treat? And how do you do it?" The truth is that the techniques used for people (manual therapies, therapeutic exercises, modalities, education) and expected outcomes (decreased pain, improved function, increased strength, restored motion) are very similar for animals. Practically anything that is treated in people with physical therapy (orthopedic, neurologic, obesity, conditioning) can be treated in pets. Of course, there are some notable differences! Pets can’t speak so picking up on nonverbal signals and gaining trust is part of the PT skillset. They also can’t do exercises on their own, so owner and pets must work together for treatment to work. However, anatomy, biomechanics, and disease processes are more similar than different. Listen to Chris, as one of the first 100 certified canine rehabilitation practitioners in the world, share her lesson from 20 years of working with animals in Massachusetts. But according to Chris, whether treating people or animals, the satisfaction of helping them to feel better and improve their function is rewarding, fulfilling, and just plain awesome!
Find Chris at PetAbility or email her at ChrisCranstonK9PT@gmail.com
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