Canine Physical Rehabilitation Therapy

Dustin peanutsCanine physical rehabilitation 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 Certified Registered Veterinary Technician Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP) and Certified Veterinary Pain Management Practitioner (CVPP), Kristen Hagler, RVT, in the North Bay Area. In collaboration with the staff of the hospital, referring veterinarians, and various specialists all over the country, Kristen treats dogs and cats with a variety of conditions or ailments to decrease pain and improve quality of life, mobility, strength, endurance and more. This can be achieved with hydrotherapy (underwater treadmill), cold laser, soundwave therapy, and exercise therapy programs tailored specifically to your four-legged companion. We also offer custom leg braces to help conservatively manage conditions like cranial crucial ligament tears (CCL, or ACL in human terms).

IMG_3394Dogs of any age, size, or physical condition can benefit from physical rehabilitation. Older dogs with arthritis or degenerative conditions have 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 for more information.

YouTube Video Channel

Our YouTube Channel has tons of 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 CCRP, has over 15 years of experience in veterinary medicine dealing with canine orthopedic cases 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.



This is Ramirez. He is 13 years old and suffers from chronic arthritis. Walking in the treadmill regularly helps keep him strong and comfortable as he ages.

This is Bailey, a 2 year old boxer who had surgery on her stifle (knee). This video was taken when she was about 11 weeks out from her surgery. With proper care and an appropriate plan, she was able to return to normal exercise and activity sooner than if she had not received physical rehabilitation treatment. Bailey is doing really well and, with continued treatment, will hopefully be able to avoid surgery on her other leg.

This is Dee. She is an obese rescue dog who weighed 94 lbs when she first came to us. We don’t know the story of how she gained so much weight, but we are working closely with the rescue group to ensure that she gets the treatment she needs. The hydrotherapy enables her to exercise safely without putting more pressure on her already taxed joints. We have treated her for 5 weeks and she has already lost over 10 lbs! Her condition is monitored by the veterinarians and registered veterinary technicians at Windsor Animal Hospital to ensure that she loses weight at a safe pace and that the exercise is not too taxing on her.