If your pet has sustained an injury or has undergone surgery for a medical problem, he may be referred for rehabilitation services. The goal of rehabilitation therapy for pets is to regain functional ability, optimize the movement of all body parts in harmony with one another and improve your pet’s overall quality of life.
Pet rehabilitation takes many different forms with physical therapy being extremely effective. Cavaletti rails have been shown to be extremely effective in many pet rehabilitation programs, including those for cats and dogs.
Cavaletti rails are a course of horizontal poles, placed at various heights and certain distances apart. The exact spacings can be changed depending on the needs of your pet, and the course tends to get made more challenging as he progresses through his rehabilitation. The way that cavaletti rails work is by prompting your pet to lift up his legs and walk over the poles. This requires your pet to have awareness of where he is placing his feet as well as coordination and balance. By encouraging your pet to use cavaletti rails you can:
Challenge your pet’s balance
Improve his functional range of motion
Improve his ability to shift weight from limb to limb
Normalize his gait
Rebuild his muscle
Lengthen his stride
Improve his coordination
Give him exercise
Build his confidence, something which is particularly important if he has suffered an injury that has impacted his ability to move around normally
Cavaletti rails aren’t only used in forms of physical therapy. Many training and agility classes also incorporate them into their routines because of the benefits that they offer.
Cavaletti rails have been found to be beneficial in the rehabilitation of pets with many different issues including:
Degenerative disc disease
Canine cognitive dysfunction
Neurological conditions such as epilepsy, Wobbler’s Syndrome and Degenerative Myelopathy
Older pets who are less steady on their feet
If you would like to find out more about the use of cavaletti rails, our knowledgeable team at Elizabeth Veterinary Clinic Inc. in Roselle, NJ would be happy to assist you. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch (908) 245-7853.