Why choose a “rehabilitation vererinarian”?
A rehab veterinarian is a doctor of veterinary medicine who has advanced training specifically to diagnose and provide therapy and conditioning to animals with pain, weakness, and gait abnormalities due to disease, injury, or old age. Dr Weiss is a veterinarian who is highly trained and certified in canine rehabilitation.
Rest alone after injury does not prevent the side effects of inflammation and compensation due to pain. The body causes adaptive changes to protect the area of injury long after healing starts. These protective responses cause “compensation” by other areas of the body which alter quality of movement throughout the musculoskeletal system causing strain and pain in additional areas. Rehabilitation can help treat and prevent this process along with promoting healing in the original site of injury.
What does the initial evaluation consist of?
The initial evaluation consists of a 1 1/2 hour long appointment and includes a head to toe examination and evaluation by Dr Weiss. She will thoroughly evaluate gait, conformation, posture/stance, range of motion, strength, joint and tendon integrity, neurologic condition, endurance, composition, weight assessment, medical/surgical history, and functional quality of movements.
When appropriate, specific measurements may be taken of your pet. Examples include thigh circumference or stifle extension. Depending on the findings, Dr Weiss will perform laser treatment, NMES, stretching exercises, massage, and/or therapeutic exercises. Dr Weiss will develop a treatment protocol and a home exercise program specifically tailored for your pet’s individual needs.
What is a home exercise program?
The owner plays a crucial role in the success of the overall canine rehabilitation program. Dr Weiss will provide stretching exercises, strengthening exercises, and advice as to any limitations to take place in the home. This is part of the whole team effort necessary to promote your pet’s recovery and progress. Rehabilitation is not successful without follow through work at home. Dr Weiss will provide information on how to perform stretches, massage, and/or exercises at home based on your ability and the pet’s needs. This could be given by verbal explanation, forms, written instruction, or video clips. You are encouraged to bring a notepad and possible video capability to the appointment for better understanding.
When are appointments available?
Rehabilitation appointments are available on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9am to 3 pm. There are relatively few options available in the New Orleans area and Dr Weiss books very quickly. For these reasons, clients are strongly encouraged to make subsequent appointments as soon as possible to avoid gaps in treatments.
Will I be with my dog during the appointment?
Dr Weiss always encourages clients to stay and observe their pet during rehabilitation to learn how to perform the exercises better at home. This is, however, not the best environment for all dogs; especially those that have “severe mommyitis”. In those cases, Dr Weiss will recommend the owner wait in the lobby and she can discuss treatment at the end of the appointment or on the phone if the pet is dropped off. This is to ensure that those pets receive the most benefit out of their appointment time and can focus on the treatment rather than their owner.
What are the costs of treatment?
An initial evaluation including full head to toe exam, appropriate treatment within time allotment, a tailored home exercise program, and a written evaluation report is one and a half hours and costs $225.
A 45 minute follow up rehabilitation appointment is $125. (Packages of 6 bought in advance receive a 10 percent discount.)
Cancellations are required within 24 hours. If cancellation is not within 24 hours, a fee of $65 will be charged.
Please be on time for your appointments. If you are late, the appointment will still end at the scheduled time.
How often will my pet need rehabilitation after the initial evaluation?
This is assessed case by case. Depending on your pet’s condition and diagnosis, a treatment plan will be developed to meet his or her needs. Some cases require intensive therapy 2 times a week, while others can require weekly or monthly therapy.
My pet is having orthopedic or neurologic surgery. When can I schedule my pet for rehab?
Ideally, your pet should come for rehab 3 to 4 days post op and even sooner in some cases. It is strongly recommended that you set a date with Dr Weiss for an evaluation even before your pet goes to surgery. Also, making follow up rehab appointments in advance is just as important so that you can ensure your pet be seen and not have to be wait listed.
Can my pet be dropped off if I can’t stay for the appointment?
Your pet can be dropped off for the day for $15. Benbow Veterinary Services will take care of your pets needs while not in rehab with Dr Weiss.
Does pet insurance cover veterinary rehab?
Many pet insurances cover veterinary rehab if referred by your veterinarian and specifically performed by a rehab veterinarian like Dr Weiss, but contact your agency to be sure.
Will you tell my referring veterinarian about our visit?
If you are a referral, Dr Weiss will update your pet’s veterinarian on her findings and recommended treatment plan after the initial evaluation.
Is canine rehabilitation the same thing as physical therapy?
Yes! But the term “physical therapy” is a protected term within the US and can only be used by a person who is a licensed physical therapist. Therefore, we use the term veterinary rehabilitation or physical rehabilitation to describe what we do.
Do you provide regular vet care?
No. Dr Weiss is currently practicing exclusively as a rehab veterinarian. She will refer you back to your regular vet for all other care, medications, diagnostics, and injections.