Stretch those pets!

August 4, 2016
Debra Canapp, DVM, CCRT, CVA, DACVSMR

Debra Canapp, DVM, CCRT, CVA, DACVSMR, is the co-owner and medical director of Veterinary Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Group in Annapolis Junction, Maryland.

Debra Canapp, DVM, CCRT, CVA, DACVSMR, shares some top tips to help get veterinary clients involved in their pets' rehab.

We teach our pet owners to do passive range of motion and stretching exercises that can be done at home. For example, when they are watching TV at night and the pet's lying next to them on its side, they may be able to do some stretches or bicycle range of motion exercises. Arthritic pets that don't move normally because it hurts can benefit from passive range of motion. And for pets who have muscle atrophy, simple exercises like 3 legged standing can be done at home. Consider developing an exercise program to send home with clients.

Another great hack for general practitioners? Get up to date with intra-articular injections for osteoarthritic pets. There are many products in the market now, and data is being collected that shows these injections can relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis without the side effects seen with the use of oral medications.