Zoey does Cavaletti poles and Balance Board!
Some of the physical exercises that Zoey completes during her rehabilitation session includes Cavaletti poles and Balance Board. Unlike people, it is harder for us to ask our pets to use certain muscles to flex and move her joints so we have specialized equipment to help us. When starting out, the sessions are shorter and involve her getting comfortable and confident with the various equipment. Letting her sniff around and get use to the smells, and textures and how it moves. A comfortable patient is a patient that will allow rehab to take place and get the most out of the healing journey.
One piece of equipment that I use often is Cavaletti poles. These poles help increase flexion of her hip joints and increase her muscle strength in rear limbs. Several poles are spaced at one of her natural stride lengths. I start her with a lower height of 4 inches then gradually over several sessions increase the height to 8 inches to encourage more flexion of hip. I have her walk over the poles at first… then over time, she will be able to go over at a faster gait called a trot. I also use Cavaletti poles to help with proprioception, balance and coordination in pets with neurological disease. It is really neat when a patient get excited about trotting and being able to do the motions without hesitation.
Now let’s talk about Zoey becoming a surfer!! Well, at least in her mind. The other piece of equipment I use frequently use is the Balance Board. This is an exercise that challenges the ability of the animal to maintain balance while the body is stationary. I use this exercise to have her shift her weight onto her hips. I do this by rocking the board back and forth to disturb her balance enough so that she can recover by shifting her weight to her hips. This exercise also helps to improve her core strength. You should see her smile… just check out her recent rehab visit pictures!
Thanks for reading about her journey.
If you have any questions, email me!!
Cindi, RVT, CCRP
Zoey using the Balance Board. One of her favorite exercises that we do!!
Zoey is concentrating hard as she goes over the cavaletti poles. “I think I can I think I can…I’m doing it!”