Animal Rehabilitation Key After Injury

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

September 20, 2005

For people, physical therapy is often key after an injury. But what about for man's best friend? A tailored therapy plan could mean all the difference for your pet.

When Yvonne Leveque's dog, Jackson, jumped from her bed and broke his back, he became partially paralyzed. Rather than having her pet of nine years euthanized, Leveque opted to pay for an expensive back surgery. But surgery alone could not get Jackson back on his paws.

"He might have had a limp, and so I wanted him to heal one hundred percent," said Leveque.

After his surgery, Leveque took Jackson to Dr. Richard Freedman, the only local vet specially trained in canine rehabilitation. Using a wobble board and other rehabilitation tools, Dr. Freedman began Jackson on a series of strength and motion exercises.

Jackson's treatment plan included eight weeks of intense physical therapy, before the therapy he could barely walk; now he's in better shape than ever.

"Jack was able to walk across the yard, go up and down steps, he is comfortable, "said Dr. Freedman of the Canine Rehabilitation & Fitness Center of Virginia.

Just as with people, animal rehab is also effective for those with weight problems or arthritis. For Jackson, rehab meant recovering 100 percent.

"He plays with his toys, he runs through the house and to me that's a miracle," said Leveque.

Dr. Freedman's tailored treatment plans range anywhere from $200-$1,000. For more information, call 434-973-6146.

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