Veterinary Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation

“A pet’s love heals.”

Physical Rehabilitators
Kim Nickolas, LVT, CCRP, CSAMT
Marisa Ostek, LVT, CCRP

Veterinary Assistants
Alyssa Timpanero, Caiya DeVerna

For over eight decades, Physical Therapy has helped human patients recover from injury and surgery by improving and alleviating pain. At the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island, we strive to achieve these same results for your recovering pet.

Our foremost goal is to safely return your pet to an optimal level of function as quickly as possible, minimizing “down time” and psychological distress for both you and your pet. Rehabilitation goals include decreasing pain and inflammation, increasing joint motion, improving muscle strength and coordination, restoring balance and endurance, and improving body composition (losing fat while gaining muscle).

Upon referral from your primary veterinarian or surgeon, your pet will be evaluated by a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner (CCRP) to identify the limitations your pet faces and the goals necessary to help restore your pet to their optimal quality of life. We will determine the most appropriate treatments and implement them in our state-of-the-art facility equipped with, electrical stimulation, low-level laser therapy, and therapeutic exercise equipment. Additionally, you will be instructed in techniques to reinforce these treatments at home, enhancing your pet’s recovery.

The VMCLI Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation service employs the use of noninvasive techniques for the rehabilitation of your pet’s injuries.

Our comprehensive care includes a full spectrum of rehabilitation services:

  • Therapeutic exercises
  • Conditioning and weight loss programs
  • Managing the geriatric patient
  • Client education for specific orthopedic and neurological conditions
  • Stretching/passive range of motion/massage
  • Thermal therapy
  • Home exercise programs
  • Electro-hydrotherapy (mild stimulation for muscles re-education; pain and inflammation management)
  • Low-level laser therapy
  • Ultrasound (for heating of deep tissues and inflammation management to promote scar tissue healing)
  • Iontophoresis (to carry medication, such as dexamethasone,
    to underlying tissues with the use of an electrical current for the
    management of tendonitis and other inflammatory processes)
  • Massage/myofascial release (to relieve painful trigger points
    and muscle spasms, improve relaxation, circulation, and to
    lengthen tight tissues)
  • Joint mobilizations and stretching (to restore range of motion)
  • Therapeutic Exercise (for strengthening, improving awareness
    of limbs, improving coordination, and to improve function and
  • Gait retraining
  • Cart Consultations
  • Prosthetics
  • Balance retraining
  • Athletic conditioning
  • Acupuncture

We specialize in non-invasive therapies to increase an animal’s overall health and well-being through:

  • Post-operative rehabilitation to reduce pain and suffering and speed healing
  • Prevention of muscle atrophy
  • Improving circulation
  • Strengthening muscles
  • Pain relief
  • Safe weight loss and diet regimens for obese and diabetic animals

Benefits of Treatment
The benefits of rehabilitation extend to animals that are elderly, arthritic, post-surgical, neurologically impaired, athletic and obese. It is particularly effective in the areas of weight reduction; increased mobility, flexibility and muscle strength; improved muscle and neurological function; reduction of pain; and decreased post-surgery recovery time.

If you would like your client’s pet to be evaluated by a member of our Physical therapy and Rehabilitation team, please contact reception to schedule an appointment. Please contact us at: (631) 587-0800.

Physical Rehabilitation: Massage & Therapeutic Exercise

The goal of the exercises below is to stimulate blood flow to the muscles, to stimulate the nerves, to stimulate body awareness and to keep the ligaments and tendons loose. Your pet may resist some of the exercises at times so it is okay to take a break and try again at a different time. Always remember to take your time and go slow through each exercise.

These sessions should be done 2-3 times a day for up to 15-30 minutes at a time as your schedule allows. Be sure to perform the exercises in a quiet and comfortable environment- some dogs find jazz or classical music soothing.

The best advice is to be patient and keep a positive attitude during the recovery process. Should you have any concerns, please contact your veterinarian or your canine rehabilitation professional.