Physical therapy is an essential aspect of recovery from injury, surgery, and neurologic dysfunction. Techniques have been adapted to use with dogs to decrease pain, improve strength and mobility, and enhance function. My goal is to improve a dog's quality of life. That could mean helping the dog recover from an injury, cope with the effects of a degenerative disease, manage obesity, or deal with an age-related condition.
Valerie Rhodes is a physical therapist with over 30 years of experience working with infants, toddlers, and children with physical challenges. After building a successful pediatric practice with a home-based emphasis, she became a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner through the University of Tennesee School of Veterinary Medicine in December 2015. Now she has decided to fulfill a dream, follow her passion, and transition to working with animals.
The dog's active range of motion is assessed. Strength is tested by muscle mass as well as the dog's movement patterns.
Heat and cold can be used to decrease inflammation, pain and muscle spasms. Laser therapy can also be used to promote healing.
The dog's ability to move within the home environment is evaluated. Advice is given to enhance functional independence.
Recommendations to enhance function may be made for boots, splints, braces. artificial limbs, slings and carts.
Strength, balance and coordination are improved with the use of various techniques and equipment.
A normal walking pattern is restored through weight shifting and weight bearing over the injured limb.
What Pet Owners Say
"Tools & Guidance"
“I felt helpless after Summer was diagnosed but Valerie gave me tools and guidance that empowered me to help my dog adjust to her new condition and regain some of the function she had lost. I could not be more grateful for her help!”
“Valerie's expertise and compassion were invaluable. I highly recommend her. It was money well-spent. And, above all, we got our dog back — in all her running and jumping splendor.”
“I think of Valerie as a 'dog whisperer'. My dog is close to 12 years old and Valerie has taught me that a dog is never too old
to learn new tricks.”