Physical Rehabilitation

Welcome to the Windsor Animal Hospital Physical Rehabilitation Department. We proudly boast the first board certified Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) in Physical Rehabilitation in California and the only Registered Veterinary Technician with multiple specialty certifications in the North Bay Area. In collaboration with hospital colleagues, referring veterinarians, and various specialists all over the country, we work with dogs and cats with a variety of conditions or ailments to decrease pain, improve quality of life, mobility, strength, endurance and more.  

Meet our Team  

Kristen Hagler – Director of Physical Rehabilitation Services 

Kristen Hagler, BS, RVT, VTS (Physical Rehabilitation), CCRP, CVPP, VCC 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. Kristen has been a California Registered Veterinary Technician since 2002 and has multiple credentials related to physical rehabilitation and pain management including a BS in Biology, certifications in canine physical rehabilitation (CCRP), veterinary pain (CVPP), canine body work (CBW), osteoarthritis case management (OACM) and veterinary cannabis counseling (VCC). She is also a Fear Free® Certified Professional and a PennHIP associate member. In 2012, Kristen helped form the Organizing Committee of the Academy of Physical Rehabilitation Veterinary Technicians and along with her colleagues, was recognized as a Veterinary Technician Specialty in Physical Rehabilitation in 2017 by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America and serves as the President and Chair of the Credentialing committee. In 2018, Kristen was awarded the California Veterinary Technician of the Year award by the California Veterinary Technician Association. Kristen actively lectures at national veterinary conferences, spends time teaching internationally and provides educational opportunities for pet parents and working dog clubs on fitness and exercise conditioning. She also regularly contributes to peer-reviewed publications and provides editorial/contributor guidance for educational textbooks. Special interest areas include Veterinary Orthotics and Prosthetics (VOP), geriatrics, sporting and performance, mobility and service dogs and multidisciplinary pain management strategies. 

Christine Carr – Physical Rehabilitation Assistant and Scheduling Coordinator

Christine joined our hospital in August 2011. She currently works at Windsor Animal Hospital in the Rehab Department, and helps around the hospital as needed. Chris is very involved in dog training and she organizes the dog training classes at Windsor Animal Hospital hand-in-hand with Connie Bartlett, our trainer. Chris feels Windsor Animal Hospital is more special than other veterinary hospitals due to the time and care given to all patients and clients. In her free time Chris works in dog sports, agility dogs, and enjoys showing her dogs. Chris’s furry kids include Border Terriers.

We are a FearFreeTM Certified Rehabilitation Team!

We strive to create an   environment that is comfortable for dogs and cats, 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 WAHK9Rehab@Gmail.com for more information about our department philosophy.  
 
For more information on FearFree for your pet, please visit www.fearfreepets.com 

Getting Started

Non-invasive physical rehabilitation treatments and therapies offered at our hospital includes

  • Aquatic therapy (underwater treadmill) 
  • Cold laser or photobiomodulation (Respond Veterinary Lasers) 
  • Manual Therapy 
  • Pulsed electromagnetic therapy (Assisi tPEMF and Respond Veterinary systems) 
  • Acoustic soundwave therapy (PulseVet™) 
  • Electrical stimulation (for pain or muscle stimulation) 
  • Exercise therapy programs tailored specifically to your four-legged companion 
  • Veterinary Orthosis or prosthesis 
  • Veterinary Musculoskeletal Manipulation (Chiropractic) 
  • Veterinary Acupuncture 
  • Veterinary Cannabis Counseling  

Patients we often see at our hospital include:

  • Older animals with arthritis or degenerative conditions (e.g. elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia) 
  • Dogs and cats recovering from injury 
  • Dogs and cats recovering or preparing for surgery (orthopedic or neurological) 
  • Vestibular or balance problems  
  • Congenital limb abnormalities 
  • Tri-pods 
  • Agility and performance dogs 
  • General wellness and fitness 
  • Anxiety and stress 
  • Obesity 

New Pet Parents

To request an appointment or consultation for physical rehabilitation services, please e-mail us at WAHK9Rehab@Gmail.com. 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 

Appointments

Your first consultation evaluation appointment will last approximately 1.5 hours. Initial consultation evaluations 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 typically 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 30 to 60 minutes and may include a range of services. On average, most patients benefit from 30 minute appointments including hydrotherapy and therapeutic laser.

Hours

The Physical Rehabilitation Department is open Monday through Thursday with first appointments starting at 8:30am and last appointment starting at 3:00pm. If you would like to request or cancel an existing appointment please call the front office at 707-838-3031 or email WAHK9Rehab@Gmail.com. The rehabilitation department scheduling coordinator will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Referring Veterinarians

Referrals to Windsor Animal Hospital (WAH) may be done through a patients primary care veterinarian or the patient’s pet parents (we prefer a referral from the family 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 and 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. 
 
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 WAHK9REHAB@Gmail.com 
 
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 orthosis 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. 

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. 

Shockwave Therapy 

By using high energy sound wave technology we can target painful areas at the cellular level to speed healing, reduce inflammation and swelling, and increase bone formation. Specifically, the acoustic waves release healing growth factors, stimulate blood flow and improve fiber alignment to also improve the quality of healing 

Shockwave or sound wave therapy technology is used to treat chronic conditions such as:

  • Osteoarthritis 
  • Tendon or Ligament injuries 
  • Hip Dysplasia 
  • Back pain 
  • Chronic wounds 
  • Shoulder lameness 
  • Fractures 

More Information and Resources 

 

 

 

Pet Insurance Summary – If you have pet insurance or are thinking about insurance for your pet. Please visit the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians page to see if your pet’s plan covers rehabilitation therapies.  

 

Veterinary Cannabis Education and Consulting – Do you have questions about cannabis (Hemp) and your pet. Please visit this website for education on harm reduction and how to choose a safe product for your pet.  

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. 

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.