Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation for Animals: A Guide for the Consumer Reviewed By Conny Withay of
Conny Withay

Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader and volunteers with the elderly playing her designed The Write Word Game. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.

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By Conny Withay
Published on March 19, 2014

Author: Susan E. Davis, PT
Publisher: Joycare Media
ISBN: 978-0-9892750-0-2

Author: Susan E. Davis, PT
Publisher: Joycare Media
ISBN: 978-0-9892750-0-2

“The field is exploding and owners, guardians, and parents of animals need to understand the benefits of physical therapy to enable them to help their pets when the need arises. They need to know how quickly and remarkably animals respond to physical therapy,” Susan E. Davis writes in the introduction of her book, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation for Animals: A Guide for the Consumer.

At two hundred and sixty-five pages, this paperback targets those interested in physical therapy treatment for animals to help them overcome disabilities, heal quickly after injuries or surgeries, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. After acknowledgements, a foreword, and introduction, there are eleven chapters followed by an appendix, notes, and an index. 

With over thirty-five years of experience in the field dealing with humans and animals, Davis writes to the “consumer” or guardian of a pet in easy-to-understand wording, often presenting a question and giving her reason for the answer.

After explaining what physical therapy is and is not with its qualifications, she describes the first visit and what to expect. Treatments can include laser, electrical stimulation, massage, ultrasound, heat or cold, and extracorporeal shock-wave treatment. Also listed are the six types of massages: effleurage or stroking, petrissage, tapotement, cross or transverse friction, connective tissue and myofascial release, and lymphatic drainage. 

Chapters also include types of therapeutic exercises and manual techniques such as range of motion, stretching, mobilization, manipulation, traction, strengthening, and swimming, sometimes using treadmills, rails, poles, balls, and boards.

With some technical drawings, three chapters detail specific rehabilitation methods for orthopedic, neurological, and medical conditions, naming breeds succumbing to their problems. After information about show dogs, the final two chapters mention expectations of care including standards, fees, and home programs along with other related topics such as Reiki, acupuncture, stem cell procedures, and chiropractors.

Although the index has no listing of breeds to look up possible physical conditions (example German Shepherd with hip problems or Beagle with neck issues), the book offers a plethora of pertinent material on using physical therapy to rehabilitate an animal. 

Written mainly with the canine in mind, there is little about other animals. Many of the instructional, helpful tips will keep dogs healthy and in good physical shape as they go through life, even when they experience an injury, surgery, or old age.

Thanks to The Cadence Group for furnishing a complimentary book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.