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What is rehabilitation therapy?

Rehabilitation therapy is a non-invasive therapy focusing on the relationships between muscles, bones, nerves, tendons, and ligaments to decrease pain and improve function.

Canine and feline rehabilitation employ the same techniques used in human physical therapy to achieve one or more of the following goals:

  • Speedy recovery from injury or surgery
  • Increased mobility and flexibility
  • Improved endurance and agility
  • A decrease in pain
  • Promotion of weight loss
  • Maintainance of function and prevention of further problems
  • Enhanced quality of life

Types of rehabilitation therapies provided at UNAVETS' clinics throughout Spain

Pets being seen through our rehabilitation services are assessed individually and a treatment plan is designed based on the patient’s needs. Most patients can benefit from a multi-faceted approach, incorporating therapies, such as:

  • Massages
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation
  • A passive range of motion and stretching exercises
  • Therapeutic laser or ultrasound sessions
  • Therapeutic exercise programs
  • Underwater treadmill sessions

These techniques can help pets with a wide array of problems and needs. In particular, rehabilitation is beneficial for animals with decreased function, animals with pain related to osteoarthritis, older pets, and those recovering from an injury or surgery.

How to tell if your pet needs rehabilitation

Most pets can benefit from some form of rehabilitation. Some common indications include:


  • Joint surgeries
  • Arthritis
  • Sports injuries
  • Fracture repairs
  • Tendon and ligament repairs (i.e. torn cruciate ligaments)
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia


  • Post-operative spinal or disc surgeries
  • Non-surgical intervertebral disc disease
  • Wobbler’s syndrome
  • Uncoordinated movement (ataxia)
  • Peripheral nerve injuries
  • Degenerative nerve disease 


  • Chronic pain
  • Aging (weakness, stiffness, arthritis)
  • Obesity/weight reduction and maintenance
  • Strength and fitness training for canine athletes and working dogs