STAR Rehab - helping pets across the country
There is so much we can do now to help our pets recover from illness or injury. With a little bit of extra knowledge and understanding of biomechanics, pain management and alternative/complementary therapies, a whole new world of treatment options opens up for our pets. Some patients can’t cope with pharmaceuticals because of underlying medical conditions. In these cases we must take advantage of alternative complementary techniques to help… (Emma Poore, Clinical Director & Head Veterinary Surgeon)
With more than five bespoke services to offer, STAR Rehab is the ideal place to help your pet on the road to recovery and improve their quality of life.
About STAR Rehab
At STAR Vets, we like to think that our genuine caring nature and passion for pets speaks for itself – that’s because we really do care. Our general veterinary surgery was born as a result of our dedication to making animals better at our Support, Therapy and Rehabilitation (S.T.A.R.) clinic, which is now known as STAR Rehab. Contact us for more information.
Vet-led referrals for all pets
We are proud to be one of only a handful of vet-led referral clinics in the UK, dedicated to Rehabilitation, Pain Management and Canine Sports Medicine. We also provide care for all pets, regardless of age, condition and occupation.
As well as seeing older, arthritic pets, we can help animals recovering from illness and injury. We also provide treatment to those who have an important job to do, such as police dogs, gun dogs and guide dogs.
Fully qualified team
By having a team with additional training and qualifications in Veterinary Science, we are able to manage and treat the underlying causes of pain. This enables us to optimise your pet’s performance, often allowing them to go on to live a long, happy and pain-free life.
STAR Rehab’s team includes a Canine Rehabilitation Therapist and a Vet with a General Practitioners Certificate in Chronic Pain Management and Western Veterinary Acupuncture.
STAR Rehab services
The services we offer include (but are not limited to):
- Canine Sports Medicine & Conditioning – including pre & post season check-ups for sporting/working dogs
- Laser therapy
- Therapeutic ultrasound
- A number of other treatments and techniques
Here’s one of our patients, Buddy, doing a hydrotherapy session in our aquatic treadmill:
We treat patients for:
At STAR Rehab we consider rehabilitation to be an integrative part of the recovery process following illness or injury.
Whether performed as an alternative to surgery (where appropriate) or as a pre- or post-surgical treatment, rehabilitation therapy is designed around each individual patient to ensure a thorough and long-lasting recovery.
Conditions that we commonly treat at STAR Rehab include:
- Osteoarthritis – in all joints
- Hip dysplasia
- Cruciate injury/disease
- Back pain
- Tendon injuries (biceps, Achilles)
- Muscular injuries
- Neurologic problems – degenerative myelopathy, prolapsed discs
- Many others!
The treatment modalities available at STAR Rehab include:
- Joint and soft tissue mobilisations
- Therapeutic exercise (specific exercise programmes)
- Therapeutic ultrasound
- Transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation (TENS)
- Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES)
- Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (pEMF)
- Laser therapy
- Hydrotherapy – aquatic treadmill
- Land-based treadmill
A state-of-the-art Gait Analysis System (of which there are only a handful in the country), allows the collection of quantitative data on the mobility of our patients where appropriate. Data can be collected repeatedly through the course of a patient’s rehabilitation program to allow a quantitative assessment to be made of their progress. It is also possible to pick up early subclinical lameness in sporting dogs to identify areas of weakness and prevent worsening of mild, previously unidentified injuries.
Pain is a highly subjective phenomenon and the most recent definition of pain provided by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) is as follows:
“Pain is whatever the patient says it is.”
Without the ability to speak directly to our patients, it is important that we are sensitive to the more subtle cues that our patients provide us, particularly in the case of chronic pain. We use a combination of different examination techniques, gait analysis and taking the time to gather an in-depth history from the client about their pet’s behaviour at home. With all of this information, we are able to provide a pain management protocol based on each individual patient and the type of pain picture with which they are presenting.
Pain affects our patients in many ways. It is a stressor and as such will impact hugely, not only on their mobility, but also on their general health and wellbeing. It is important to accurately classify the type of pain that our patients are experiencing. This enables us to treat it as effectively as possible to ensure suffering is minimised.
These protocols will often involve a multimodal approach. This can be pharmacological treatments combined with acupuncture, laser therapy and other physical therapy modalities as appropriate for each case. With a multimodal approach the treatments work synergistically to give a potentiated effect, which is greater than the effect of any of the modalities used independently. This ensures we can provide our patients with the best possible levels of pain relief and will improve their overall wellbeing and prevent suffering.
Many dogs place heavy demands on their musculoskeletal system. Just as professional athletes regularly visit Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Personal Trainers etc., so should those canines that are subjected to the same type of stresses.
If you are an athletic/sporting dog owner/handler, you know how driven and focused both you and your dog are on your sport. Unfortunately, our dogs will be so driven and enjoy their jobs so much that they will continue to train and compete at a high level even if they are in pain. As a result, many injuries go unnoticed until they deteriorate and then become a serious threat to your dog’s long-term ability to compete.
Routine preventative care can help these dogs prepare their bodies for the stresses that they are put under, and importantly, identify small problems before they become big problems. Routine fitness assessments allow us to tailor training programs to each individual athlete’s needs and ensure that the athlete is maintained at peak fitness throughout the season.
Every sport is very different. A thorough understanding of the discipline that the athlete is involved in, and the type of injuries that the discipline predisposes, is vital in developing an effective conditioning program and correct training methods.
As the old adage says…”prevention is better than cure!”
Some examples of those dogs that can benefit from a sports medicine/fitness assessment include:
- Active family pets – just because these dogs are not formally canine athletes doesn’t mean they’re not subjected to the same stresses, if not more, during their daily activity. Chasing balls, catching frisbees, racing around the park with other dogs, all involve significant strenuous activity.
- Competition dogs – agility dogs, flyball dogs, herding dogs, gun dogs, etc. Each kind of competition can place unique stresses on a dog’s body.
- Show dogs – whether it be a conformation champion or a canine celebrity, fluidity of movement and overall strength and cardiovascular fitness are critical to the success they will have in the ring.
- Working dogs – unique to this group of dogs (police, army, search and rescue, customs), they are expected to perform their job, which consists of strenuous activity, without any time for stretching or warm-up techniques. Therefore, it is imperative that they are provided with a regular conditioning program. This will help them stay in peak condition ready for any immediate bursts of activity that they may be asked to engage in.
Here’s a video of Teaser and her Mum, Becks, at Crufts in 2018. Teaser (who sadly passed away earlier this year), was one of the many amazing agility dogs that we look after here at STAR Rehab.
You will need a referral from the Veterinary Surgeon in charge of your pet’s care to use the services at STAR Rehab – see our Vet Referral Guide.
Learn about our STAR Rehab facilities, or get in touch if you would like more information.