New Treatment Options for Companion Animal Patients

Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida’s renovated physical rehabilitation and fitness center offers new treatment options for companion animal patients


“Adriana aids Tyson” –Adriana Sanchez, lead surgery service technician and member of the physical rehabilitation department, guides Tyson after his surgery. She’s assisting him with his gait, allowing him to build strength.

Naples-based Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida expanded its physical rehabilitation and fitness center this week, installing an Oasis Underwater Treadmill. This cutting-edge hydrotherapy system gives patients the best opportunity to recover from surgical, arthritic, geriatric and chronically debilitating diseases and conditions.

Physical rehabilitation is a relatively new area of veterinary medicine. Much like humans, animals require physical rehabilitation to recover muscle strength and joint flexibility following an injury or long-term disuse.

Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida’s physical rehabilitation team designs treatment programs focusing on sports medicine, performance optimization, fitness, weight management, surgery recovery and chronic illness alleviation. It offers outpatient consultations, as well as tailored physical rehabilitation sessions to hospitalized, post-operative and incapacitated critical care patients.

Professionals within the veterinary field who perform physical rehabilitation undergo advanced training in order to achieve the formal designation of Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP) or Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist (CCRT).At Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida, the physical rehabilitation team is led by owner and surgeon Marc Havig, DVM, DACVS, CCRP and Christine Bihler, MSPT, CCRT.

“Kasey” – Kasey participates in a weight-loss program at ASH. The new underwater treadmill helps him shed pounds by building his stamina and increasing his fitness level.

Dogs and cats that participate in physical rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery heal more efficiently than those that do not. Physical rehabilitation programs also aid pain management, promote the healing process and help restore range of mobility,” said Havig. “With this renovation, we offer our patients the most comprehensive and complete care from initial consultation to final appointment.”

In addition to the new state-of-the-art underwater treadmill, the physical rehabilitation and fitness center at Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida features a suite of industry-leading equipment and services including: therapeutic ultrasound; transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS); neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES); massage therapy; balance and coordination training; strengthening exercises and gait training.

Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida offers specialty referral and emergency veterinary care. It is Collier County’s only veterinary facility that is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – even during natural disasters. As one of the area’s largest and most technologically advanced animal hospitals, it is staffed with board-certified specialists in cardiology, critical care and emergency medicine, dermatology, surgery, internal medicine and ophthalmology.

Located at 10130 Market Street off I-75 at Exit 101, Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida celebrates its sixth anniversary this month. For additional information, visit




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