5. Introduction to Canine Rehabilitation

  1. M. Christine Zink DVM, PhD, Dipl ACVP and
  2. Janet B. Van Dyke DVM
  1. Shari Sprague MPT, CCRT

Published Online: 28 JUN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118783443.ch5

Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

How to Cite

Zink, M. C. and Van Dyke, J. B. (2013) Introduction to Canine Rehabilitation, in Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., West Sussex, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118783443.ch5

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 JUN 2013
  2. Published Print: 11 APR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780813812168

Online ISBN: 9781118783443



  • arthrokinematics;
  • biomechanics;
  • canine rehabilitation;
  • forces; girth measurements;
  • joint mobilizations;
  • osteokinematics


Canine rehabilitation requires advanced knowledge and understanding of physical rehabilitation and the science behind it. Rehabilitation professionals must be able to process information related to how the musculoskeletal and nervous systems work and affect function. They must be able to perform a thorough evaluation, effectively identifying impairments that are contributing to the functional limitations. Understanding biomechanics, which involves the study of forces in movement and at rest, is crucial. Arthrokinematics and osteokinematics have a direct effect on biomechanics and the body's ability to generate movement or maintain postures. If arthrokinematic motion is limited, joint mobilizations are applied. Girth measurements provide objective information regarding muscle circumference and/or swelling. If muscle atrophy or weakness is found, isometric and/or isotonic strengthening techniques can be applied. Understanding the gait cycle allows the therapist to identify dysfunction during gait at different speeds, leading to a more accurate assessment of impairments.