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Physical Rehabilitation

What is Animal Physical Rehabilitation?

In order to live happy, active lives, all animals need flexibility, coordination, balance, muscle strength, and endurence.  

After incurring an injury, your pet may have difficulty returning to his or her normal daily activities. 

Often once internal medical issues are addressed, musculoskeletal problems remain.

Physical rehabilitation addresses the remaining muscle and joint issues that may be slowing or inhibiting your pet's recovery. 


The Underwater Treadmill is a useful rehabilitation tool to not only improve overall strength and endurance, but also the water provides a buoyancy effect to help unweight painful and/or arthritic joints.

Water exercises can also be performed utilizing the buoyancy effect to reduce gravity's pull again the body when land exercises are too difficult.


Muscle stabilization is a very important aspect of strength. Without adequate stabilization, it is difficult to perform daily tasks and your pet is much more prone to injury. Just like humans, animals need core stabilization and we can use physioballs to achieve that while making it more "fun" for them to participate.

  Yes, rabbits do very well in physical rehabilitation!  Dr. Steele designed the first rabbit rehabilitation program in the Los Angeles area and is often consulted by facilities across the US. She is also a consultant for disabled rabbit groups outside of the US through social media. Rabbits are now the third most popular domesticated pet in the US (according to They can suffer from musculoskeletal injuries just as cats and dogs-- and they respond extremely well to physical rehabilitation.  

Physioballs are excellent rehabilitation tools for a variety of purposes. If your pet is having difficulty with standing on all four limbs properly, a set up such as Lani is demonstrating above, can be extremely helpful.

Then, once positioned over the physioball, precise hind limb training can be performed in a much more efficient manner.