Physiotherapy and rehabilitation in cats II - treatment


Depending on the case can be marked different objectives such as: eliminating pain and swelling, lessen the lameness, maintain or improve range of motion, maintain tone, mass and muscle strength, minimize or make slower degeneration effects articulate - osteoarthritis-, avoid compensation and give maximum capacities so that the animal is functional and can have a good quality of life.

Phases of treatment:

 Fisioterapia en gatos

Phase I: Control pain and decrease inflammation and edema. If the animal has pain, it will not be manipulated and desired goals will not be reached. During the first days, it is important to act on the inflammation and pain and preventappearing muscle atrophy and decrease the arc joint. Passive techniques that reduce inflammation, produce analgesia and help maintain tone, mass and mobility arc are used for this. These techniques include electrotherapy (analgesic current, TENS), massage, passive mobilizations and cryotherapy (cold), magnetic therapy (magnetic fields), Ultrasonic It reduces inflammation and edema, laser. At the start of the recovery, these applications must be combined with drug therapy that the referring veterinarian creates appropriate for the case.

The application of these devices, gives an advantage, produced analgesia and therefore can be decreased intake of drugs; something that us is very useful with animals that can not eat according to which drugs because their system does not allow it.

Phase II: Increase in the arches of mobility and flexibility of the soft tissues. It is important from the outset to massage and move the injured area provided there is no contraindication veterinary and, in the case of fixation, the period of healing and joining the fixed parts. The massage and move the affected limb or area helps maintain mobility, prevents the loss of mass and tone and works the proprioceptors.

A gentle mobilization combined with different massage techniques help to reduce inflammation and reduce the pain.

Once the acute phase, 48-72 hours, and without the risk of infection or inflammation, you can enter heat help elastificar tissues, reduces pain and increases the blood supply.

 At the beginning and at the end of the session using the cold, Since it has properties that Act on the reduction of the inflammatory response, swelling and pain

Electroterapia en gatos


Phase III: Increasing the mass and muscle strength. The electro-muscle stimulation It helps to prevent the onset of atrophy and maintain mass and muscle tone. With electrical stimuli we can stimulate the nerve conduction.

Other exercises, walk on water or walk on a carpet, also help to increase the mass and strength.

Phase IV: Re-educationn of the March. Starting from the fourth day and during the next two weeks, when the swelling and pain are gone, it is time to introduce simple Active exercises. In the case of the forelimbs will be used exercises with a light, a feather duster and a pen? so the animal move their affected extremity. In the case of the hind limbs, it can put a harness and start giving rides of short duration within a closed space to force the animal does equal support with four limbs and so, prevent to appear an imbalance between ends produced by improper support on the ground. The tours are an exercise that its duration increases to total recovery. Seems strange the fact of forcing a walk a cat in a room, but it is a very rewarding exercise, especially in the early days of recovery. Once past the initial phase, already may be left the cat to make walks loose or with the aid of a toy to force him to move.

Feline permitting, if there is no veterinary contraindication, no points and well closed wounds, the animal can be inserted in the water. The benefits of water are used to improve recovery. The hydrotherapy (underwater treadmill) It facilitates station of the animal without loss of balance and, thanks to the flotation, without having to put up with all his weight. The flotation allows work animals with bone pain and with low muscle mass. The water pressure exerted on the body of the animal increases sensitivity and reduces inflammations and swelling. Work in the water, underwater tapes or swimming It increases as the animal is recovering. In addition, with water, we can retrieve the motor pattern, increasing mass, tone, and strength, work breathing capacity and maintain and/or improve mobility.

The use of tables, dishes, balls and trampolines they are important to work balance, proprioception, and above all the integration of the limb or affected limbs.


Problemas musculares en gatosPhase V: Return to their normal lives. In the last phase, from two weeks, when the cat has integrated the walking pattern, exercises are done to improve the quality of the movement. Active exercises are more complex to integrate the limb or affected limbs. Active exercises and proprioception is achieved to increase the tone, mass and muscle strength; work coordination and balance and range of motion. Rails with different surfaces, are used cones, barsand  circuits.


It is important to keep good track of weight during and after recovery. Excess weight makes it difficult and can help develop secondary problems, besides damaging your joints.



Marta Subirats Laguarda

Dogs therapist diploma from the University of Tennessee

Technical specialist


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