Veterinary physical rehabilitation (physical therapy refers exclusively to human patients) uses these same techniques on animals for the same benefits. The techniques are adjusted for animals. Despite the differences in technique, the one thing that remains the same is that physical rehabilitation helps patients get better, feel better and move better. It reduces pain, improves function, restores movement, increases athletic performance, reduces risk of injury, and maximizes physical potential.
The veterinary medical community is starting to recognize these same benefits for animals. Educational programs, like the Canine Rehabilitation Institute, have been touting the benefits for years while teaching physical therapists and veterinarians in using these techniques on dogs. But its only been since 2011 that it has become an officially recognized specialty. More and more, veterinarians are understanding the importance of rehabilitation. Ultimately the goal is to integrate physical rehabilitation completely with traditional veterinary medicine. Rehabilitation therapists will work along side family veterinarians and surgeons to provide the best possible care for pets.