Physical Rehabilitation

Veterinary physical rehabilitation therapy is a fun and effective way to dramatically improve your pet’s health at any age. The Windsor Animal Hospital Physical Rehabilitation Department boasts the only board certified Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) in Physical Rehabilitation in California and the only Registered Veterinary Technician dual certified in Canine Physical (CCRP) and Veterinary Pain Management Practitioner (CVPP) in the North Bay Area. In collaboration with hospital colleagues, referring veterinarians, and various specialists all over the country, Kristen works with dogs and cats with a variety of conditions or ailments to decrease pain, improve quality of life, mobility, strength, endurance and more.

Physical Rehabilitation therapies often utilize hydrotherapy (underwater treadmill), cold laser, pulsed magnet therapy, soundwave therapy, and exercise therapy programs tailored specifically to your four-legged companion.

Getting Started

Animals of any age, size, or physical condition can benefit Canine Hydrotherapyfrom physical rehabilitation. Older animals, especially dogs, with arthritis or degenerative conditions can gain more energy, improved confidence and reduced pain after treatments. Young dogs recovering from injuries or surgeries can recuperate faster and return to their normal level of activity sooner with an appropriate rehabilitation program. Physical rehabilitation therapy also helps condition dogs with jobs or competitive performance (herding, police, agility, conformation, and more) to prevent injury and maintain overall body fitness. The rehabilitation team can also help with weight loss or prevention programs for overweight dogs to safely drop those extra pounds. Weight loss is crucial for dogs that are overweight because excess pressure on joints causes pain, potential damage to the skeletal structure and increases the risk of other metabolic diseases over a long period of time. Walking a dog in an underwater treadmill eases the strain on the body by providing support with the water and creating a buoyant environment (up to 38% reduction in overall body weight).

We strive to create an   environment that is comfortable for dogs, even if they are nervous in new places or do not enjoy swimming. Our patients look forward to their therapy visits with us because they can exercise safely in a fun, positive environment. Often they do not want to leave! Please call or email us at for more information.

We are a FearFree Certified Rehabilitation Team!


Services Offered

At Windsor Animal Hospital we offer the following therapeutic modalities and services for your pet:

  • Underwater Treadmill
  • Cold Laser Therapy
  • Electrical Stimulation
  • Pulsed Magnet Therapy
  • Individualized Exercise Programs
  • Soundwave therapy (PulseVet Shock Wave)
  • Custom Orthosis fittings
  • Wheelchair fittings

New Clients

To request an appointment or consultation for physical rehabilitation services, please e-mail us at Our team checks messages frequently and we will get back to your soon. Interested in an appointment? Please fill out the information request survey link and someone from our team will get back to you.  It is imperative your pets medical information has been received at the hospital prior to your consultation visit. If we do not have updated vaccinations and medical records, there may be unwanted delays.

Appointments and Hours

Patient receiving pulsed magnet therapy treatment for a compressed disc in the neck

Patient receiving pulsed magnet therapy treatment for a compressed disc in the neck

Your first consultation appointment will last approximately 1 hour. Initial consultations will include a thorough discussion of your pet’s mobility needs and challenges, pain assessment, dietary intake, complete functional and movement evaluation, in-house therapeutic exercise evaluation (modalities chosen vary from patient to patient) and “Homework” plan. We do not advise starting  Hydrotherapy the same day to avoid physical and psychological exhaustion.

Returning appointments are scheduled based on time and what your pet needs for their condition. Appointment times range from 15 to 60 minutes and may include a range of services. On average, most patients benefit from 30 minute appointments including hydrotherapy and laser therapy.

The Physical Rehabilitation Department is open Monday through Thursday with first appointments starting at 8:30am and last appointment starting at 3:30pm. If you would like to request or cancel an existing appointment please call the front office at 707-838-3031 or email

Referring Veterinarians

Referrals to Windsor Animal Hospital (WAH) may be done through a patients primary care veterinarian or the patient’s owners (we prefer a referral from a veterinarian). All patients will be medically evaluated by a veterinarian at WAH in order to establish a valid client-patient relationship. The WAH staff veterinarian is there to quickly assist with any changes to your pet’s pain management program as it relates to physical rehabilitation. This examination is no substitute for regular veterinary care. All medical recommendations, evaluations and therapies recommended will be communicated to your primary care provider on a regular basis in order to maintain continuity of care.

Veterinary services cannot be provided without a veterinarian in direct supervision of a CA licensed veterinary technician.  If we do not receive medical records BEFORE an evaluation, we may unable to provide services if vaccination records are not accessible.

We kindly request records and any testing or X-rays to be in hand 24 hours before the initial evaluation for review.  It in the best interests of your pet to have records available prior to your appointment. Medical records may be e-mailed to

Our goal is to help you make a collaborative and informed decision about your pet’s physical rehabilitation experience. Please take the time to fill out the NEW CLIENT QUESTIONNAIRE. The information provided in this form is greatly appreciated and will expedite your initial consult. This will allow for more time for the rehab exam and any questions you may have.

Custom Veterinary Orthosis and Prosthesis (V-OP)

Windsor Animal Hospital also offers custom leg braces or orthodics to help conservatively manage conditions like cranial crucial ligament tears (CCL, or ACL in human terms). Please visit OrthoPets or Go Hero Go for more information.

Olive hiking



Mobility Carts (Wheel Chairs)


Making the decision to place your pet in a mobility device like a wheelchair can be difficult, but depending on the level of disability a pet has a wheelchair can increase interaction with the family, other pets and overall activity. Wheelchairs range from completely custom to semi-custom and we can help you decide what is best for your pet and household needs.

YouTube Video Channel

Our YouTube Channel has many information videos of patients performing therapeutic exercises and walking in the underwater treadmill for hydrotherapy. Below is a list of our favorite advanced exercises to perform with our patients in our facility.

More Information
Meet Our Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner – Kristen Hagler, RVT VTS (Physical Rehabilitation), CCRP, has over 15 years of experience in veterinary medicine working in physical rehabilitation and pain management. She is considered an expert in her field by clients and colleagues alike and is the brains of our rehabilitation department.

The Senior Pet – Geriatric dogs and cats have different needs than a young animal. This pages provides simple, inexpensive tips on how to make your senior dog more comfortable at home.

Client Testimonials – Testimonials written by clients about their experience with us.

Glossary of Terms – List of terms that are commonly used in rehabilitation, including explanations of diseases and conditions that can be treated with rehabilitation.

Therapeutic Exercise Videos – Client-only section for help with the home exercise program. This page is password protected and for current client use only. The password is in your Welcome Packet from your initial consult with us. If you no longer have this, please email us at rehab [at] windsoranimalhospital [dot] com and we can grant you access.