I spent two weeks working with the Physical Rehab and Integrative Medicine service recently. It was such an amazing rotation! As I worked with my patients, I got to witness the power of rehabilitation exercises, walks in the water treadmill, laser therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, TENS, NMES, and PEMF therapy and the potential that they hold to improve the quality of life for animals.
Several of my patients could not walk on their own at the outset of their therapy. In the short time I was able to work with them during my two weeks with the service, I saw such transformations in their physical abilities. By the middle of my second week of the rotation, some of them could sit on their own, hold themselves up and walk assisted by their cart or the water treadmill. In addition to physical progress, I was able to see notable changes in their mental state as well. It is difficult, of course, because our patients can’t tell us how they feel, but it was amazing to see my patients become visibly brighter as they regained their independence.
The animals were so eager to be able to come to the rehabilitation gym in a way most animals are not when they come to the vet. The little role that I was able to play in their rehabilitation made me feel like I was truly making a difference for them and their families. I learned so much from them and it has shaped how I hope to practice veterinary medicine in the future.