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Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine


Animal rehabilitation and sports medicine help to increase function and mobility of joints and muscles. Rehabilitation is the practice of restoring pets musculoskeletal and nervous system function after severe injury, and sports medicine is the treatment of sports related joint injuries using non-surgical techniques. There are many conditions treated at VSC which require rehabilitation to restore function.

The ultimate goal of animal rehabilitation is to improve quality of life and decrease pain. Not only can rehabilitation reduce pain, but it can also enhance recovery from injury, surgery, chronic conditions, degenerative diseases, age related diseases, and obesity.


Veterinary Surgery Center of Sarasota offers multiple rehabilitation techniques our patients. Each pet will be evaluated to have a specific treatment plan made designed dependent upon their condition. Orthopedic, neurologic or surgical repairs/traumatic injuries all will require different therapies.

The rehabilitation techniques and other therapies offered at VSC are listed below.

Balance/Coordination Exersices

Balance and coordination exercises use equipment designed to strengthen weak muscles that have atrophied and help improve an animal’s awareness of its… surroundings. These exercises include balancing on physio-balls, balance boards, cavalettis, and figure eights.


Prior to even presenting with an injury, many pets begin to lose muscle mass. This loss of muscle can take a substantial amo- unt of time to rebuild, which can hold back their recovery. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (T.E.N.S.) uses electrical currents to help stimulate these muscles. It can also be used to help relieve pain.


Massage is used to relieve tension in muscles and stimulate muscle developm- ent. By increasing blood flow to the affect- ed area and relieving muscle spasms, massage helps speed up recovery from injuries and surgery.

Passive Range of Motion (PROM)

Passive range of motion is used to encourage animals to use the full range of motion of the joints. PROM is accomplish- ed through flexion and extension of the joint to its limits. PROM increases range of motion and decreases joint pain.

Prosthetics and Orthotics

Prosthetics are a wearable device that help to replace the function of a limb that is no longer present or functional. Orthotics are also a wearable device used to help correct musculoskeletal deformities and/or abnormalities. Both enhance mobility while providing additional comfort for pets.

Strengthening Exercises

Strengthening exercises promote muscle development and growth by encouraging the pet to increase use of the affected area. Some examples of this are incline walking and the use of stairs.

Therapeutic Ultrasound

Therapeutic ultrasound creates warmth in deeper tissues using ultrasound waves. This process then promotes new blood supply to the area for healing and tissue repair.

Thermotherapy and Cryotherapy

Thermotherapy is used on the affected area to increase range of motion, decrease stiffness in joints, and increase blood flow. This helps to make the animal more comfortable in the application of other physical therapy techniques. Cryotherapy is often used to decrease discomfort caused by inflammation of the muscle. Both thermotherapy and cryotherapy are typically accompanied by other therapeutic techniques.

Water Treadmill

Water treadmills are a vital tool in physical rehabilitation. The buoyancy of the water allows decreases the effects of gravity and thus assists with gait training and weight-bearing (similar to water aerobics in people). The water height can be adjusted in relation to the patient (the higher the water level, the less bodyweight the patient uses) to make exercise easier or increase the challenge. VSC is the only specialty clinic in Sarasota-Manatee counties that has a water treadmill in their rehabilitation program.

Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is the application of high-energy acoustic waves which cause an overall biological effect of accelerated tissue repair and cell growth, analgesia, and mobility restoration. Shockwave therapy promotes blood vessel formation, reverses chronic inflammation, stimulates collagen production, and releases trigger points. VSC is the only veterinary clinic in the Sarasota-Manatee region to offer this therapy. Find more information about Shockwave here.

Land Treadmill

In addition to our water treadmill VSC also has a land treadmill. During the humid times of the year It can be challenging to get recovering pets the level of activity they need during their recovery. Dogs are susceptible to heat stroke when exercising in humid conditions. Our treadmill can keep dogs exercising no matter what the weather is like outside!


In order to initiate rehabilitation for your pet at Veterinary Surgery Center of Sarasota, you will need to first schedule a consultation with one of our certified rehabilitation practitioners. During the initial rehab consultation, we will examine your pet and create a customized rehabilitation therapy plan specific for his or her condition. Therapy sessions will be scheduled according to the plan laid out during your initial visit. If you think your pet would benefit from rehabilitation services at VSC Sarasota, please call us at 941.893.1500 to schedule your consultation.


If you would like to learn more about rehabilitation and sports medicine, as well as prosthetic and orthotics,
we have provided some helpful links with some additional resources for you to check out.

Get In Touch With Veterinary Surgery Center of Sarasota

Get In Touch

8033 Cooper Creek Boulevard,
#101, University Park,
Florida 34201


Office Hours
Monday – Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday & Sunday – Closed