By Dr. Lisa Schenkel, Senior Associate Veterinarian, Animal Medical of New City


For many years, physical therapy has been an internationally recognized discipline in the human health care field, and the benefits of post-surgical and post-injury rehabilitation have been well documented and recognized in human patients. However, relatively little attention had been given to veterinary patients afflicted with similar conditions. Once the sutures were removed, it was commonly believed that “Fido” would regain full strength, function and mobility on the affected body part all on his own. Reflecting back, many veterinarians, as well as pet owners, shudder to think about the many stiff joints and withered muscles that resulted from that erroneously held belief.

Dr. Lisa Schenkel leads our canine physical therapy

Dr. Lisa Schenkel, shown here with a young pet owner and patient, leads the Physical Medicine Department at Animal Medical of New City

Physical Therapy for Dogs Hind Legs and All (works for cats too 🙂

In more recent years, due to a profound interest that has developed in providing rehabilitation and physical therapy to veterinary patients following surgery, illness or injury, there has been a tremendous growth in canine rehabilitation and physical therapy for dogs. During this time, canine physical therapy has grown from a small area of interest to a recognized discipline, and through a collaborative effort between veterinarians, veterinary technicians and human physical therapists, knowledge within this field has also rapidly grown. Veterinary caregivers, pet owners and animal patients realize the benefits of this progression from adaption of human physical therapy techniques to the development of different methods that are specific for animals. Canine rehabilitation and canine physical therapy (as well as programs for cats) are now becoming more commonplace as a means to enhance the recovery of animals that have various orthopedic and neurologic conditions. In addition, there is an emerging trend in the use of canine rehabilitation as a tool to help dogs lose weight  and for the maintenance of cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength.

Animal Medical Is Proud To Offer Canine Physical  Therapy (as well as similar treatments for cats).

canine physical therapy

Get Over It! Physical therapy is just as much of a benefit to canine health and healing as it is to humans 🙂 Maybe better, it’s much more affordable and individualized.

In accordance with our belief in maintaining the quality of life of all of our patients, we are proud to offer canine physical therapy as a service for our patients. Referred to as the Physical Medicine Service of Animal Medical of New City, the mission of this service is to decrease pain and restore function of our patients suffering from an illness or injury by providing whole body care. Based on a thorough examination of a pet’s muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and nervous system, a comprehensive treatment plan is formulated.

Specifically tailored for a pet’s needs, the plan may include any combination of medication, supplements, nutritional counseling, therapeutic exercises and other modalities such as therapeutic ultrasound, therapeutic laser, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, cryotherapy, heat therapy, massage and acupuncture. Conditions and injuries that may benefit from physical therapy include (but are not limited to) postoperative orthopedic and back surgeries, nonsurgical orthopedic conditions, neurologic conditions including intervertebral disc disease, traumatic spinal cord injury and degenerative myelopathy, stroke-like conditions, and osteoarthritis. In addition to enhancing recovery from a surgery, illness or injury, benefits of physical medicine also include facilitating weight reduction and improving cardiovascular and musculoskeletal fitness.

If you would like to find out more information about how your pet can benefit from canine physical therapy, canine rehabilitation, or physical medicine, please feel free to contact us at or (845) 638-3600.

physical therapy for dogs

Lot’s of loving or therapeutic massage? They may not know the difference, but we do 🙂