Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

The Village Veterinary Clinic of Hamburg is now opening its doors to pets in need of physical therapy and rehabilitation.  We pride ourselves on being able to offer our clients with the most cutting edge technology along with the comfort and care that we have been providing for years.  This service may fill a missing piece in a pet’s comfort puzzle.  Please contact the hospital with any questions about our physical therapy program.

Physical Therapy Sign

Meet Our Physical Therapist

Dr. Eliana Cely, earned her degree in Veterinary Medicine from Universidad De La Salle Colombia.  She completed one year in a small animal rotating internship at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM) and completed her residency in internal medicine and surgery at Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Mexico (UAEM). While she was studying in Colombia and Mexico, she worked closely with patients rehabilitating from neurological and orthopedic problems. Recently, Dr. Cely became certified in Canine Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation at the Canine Rehabilitation Institute (CRI) in Florida.  She is one of the few veterinarians in the Western New York area that is certified in physical therapy and rehabilitation!

Dr. Cely photo

During the first appointment, your pet will receive a complete physical exam, orthopedic and neurological evaluation to determine your pets specific needs and the treatments needed.

Physical Therapy sessions include:

  • Therapeutic Massage
  • Range of Motion exercises (passive- PROM and active- AROM)
  • Joint Mobilization
  • Stretching
  • Strengthening affected tissues
  • Balance
  • Conditioning

Therapeutic options utilized in session:

  • Laser Therapy
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation
  • Acupuncture
  • Heat and Cold Therapy
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Cavaletti Poles
  • Balance/Wobble Boards
  • Physioballs (peanut ball)
  • Treadmill

(just to name a few)

Each patient is specifically evaluated by Dr. Cely and an individualized therapy plan is then created.  The plan is customized to the unique needs of your pet.  Each pet also receives a specific home rehabilitation program to continue therapy while not at the clinic.

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Who can benefit from Physical Therapy?

Both acute and chronic injuries can greatly benefit from physical therapy!

Some examples of conditions that would likely benefit from therapy are as follows:

Arthritis  Muscle, tendon or ligament strain or sprain Hip dysplasia Back injuries
Back injury/IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) Spondylosis (spinal arthritis) Fractures Cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures or tears
Amputation Elbow dysplasia Patellar luxation (knee cap moves out of place) Peripheral nerve injuries
Fibrocartilagenous embolism (FCE) Degenerative myelopathy (spinal cord condition) Vestibular disorder Recent orthopedic surgeries
Overweight “big boned disease” 🙂 THESE ARE JUST TO NAME A FEW!

This is a limited list; many conditions can benefit from physical therapy.

Don’t forget that our feline friends can also greatly benefit from physical therapy!


Stevie electrostimulation

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Stevie laser therapy

Some patients enjoying physical therapy!

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Stevie massage


You may also consider a therapeutic massage for your pet.  Dr. Cely offers 3 different types of massage, depending on your goal.

Massage therapy is meant to help relieve stress and relax muscles in a patient.  With the specific massage techniques, muscles spasms, aches and pains are reduced.  As a result range of motion and circulation are improved.

Relaxing Massage  (15 MIN) or (30 MIN)

Dr. Cely utilizes effleurage (a form of massage that involves the palm of your hand creating a circular motion), light wringing and circular massage techniques.

Regular massage maintains a dog’s general well-being and can provide early detection of health changes.

Diagnostic Massage  (20-30 MIN)

By running her hands and fingertips over areas to feel for tenderness, swelling or other abnormalities, Dr. Cely scans for lumps, sores, swellings or reactions such as snapping, flinching or crying out. This routine can be utilized in conjunction with a relaxing massage, allowing for a release of endorphins (natural healing hormones) promoting a feeling of contentment and comfort that can extend well into the day and evening.

Sports Massage  (15 MIN)

The goal of this massage is to invigorate muscles, increase blood flow and prepare the body for strenuous activity (agility, swimming or long runs).

Canine athletes are better prepared for and recover more quickly afterward when massage is a regular component of the training program. Massage helps prepare dogs mentally and physically for the event and reduces the chance of injury. Massage also comforts tired muscles and reduces the potential for cramping and post-exercise soreness.

Barni Masssage Therapy- Video Clip Click Here!

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The land treadmill helps improve the way your pet walks.  If they injured or had surgery on any of their legs (knee, hip or front leg injury), the treadmill forces them to bear weight on these limbs.  It challenges them to balance, gain coordination and normalize the way they walk.

The treadmill can also force their muscles to move and extend more than they normally would when they are walking on their own.  When walking on their own they can slow down or not bear weight on a specific leg.  When on the treadmill they are forced to use all legs in order to stay balanced.  This helps them return to normal walking quicker.

Kloe is in physical therapy after back surgery.  She was unable to use her back legs before and after surgery (even though her surgery was a success).  It can take time and rehabilitation to gain the use of her legs.  Check out her before and after videos!  In the first video she is using the treadmill, but she is being supported by Dr. Cely.  In the second video (1 month of physical therapy), Kloe is able to take several steps on her own! 

Kloe Physical Therapy Video Before- Click Here!

Kloe Walking Video- 1 month post- Click Here!

Barni is in physical therapy for arthritis and difficulty walking.  

Barni in Physical Therapy Video- Click Here!

Cricket has a history of IVDD (intervertebral disc disease).  This is a back condition that can be a cause of back pain, incoordination or even limb paralysis.  Throughout the years, Cricket has had to battle stumbling, difficulty navigating her home and chronic back pain.

Cricket Physical Therapy Video Clip-Click Here!

Cricket Physical Therapy- Click Here!

Cricket Physical Therapy Video-Click Here!

Stevie is a 1.5 year old Golden Retriever with hip dysplasia.  She is in physical therapy to strengthen her muscles and relieve her pain and discomfort.  She will also continue post surgery to help with her recovery.  Physical therapy will help rebuild and maintain her muscles.  

Stevie Physical Therapy Video Clip-Click Here!

Stevie Treadmill

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Cavaletti Poles and Cones

The caveletti cones and poles are meant to challenge a patients range of motion.  Every time they need to lift a leg to go over the poles, their muscles are extending to reach over.  It also requires them to balance and shift their weight on the other legs as they move over the obstacles.

Here Cricket working the cavaletti cones and poles (her goal is to step over the pole one foot at a time, not bunny hop)!

Cricket in Physical Therapy Video- Click Here!

Cocoa has a history of IVDD (intervertebral disc disease).  Cocoa has had years of back pain and difficulty with her mobility.  She is now Dr. Cely’s patient and is greatly improving.  Her owners have noted her back pain has lessened and she is more playful!  Her goal is to step over the poles one foot at a time, not bunny hop.  Look at her go!

In the second video, Cocoa being able to army crawl under the cones is a very big step!

Cocoa in Physical Therapy Video- Click Here!

Cocoa in Physical Therapy Video- Click Here!

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Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulator

Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) are non-invasive and safe electrodes that are placed on the skin in the area of the muscles.  It emits a low frequency electrical stimulation that will cause the nerves and muscles to contract.  During this stimulation it causes the muscles to strengthen and learn endurance, which is particularly helpful for those pets with muscle loss or injuries.  Even pets with neurological disorders can benefit from these stimulations; it can educate the muscles to contract.

Abigail had her CCL (cranial cruciate ligament, same as the ACL in humans) surgically repaired in 2015.  She has had to work on rebuilding all her muscles (in both her front and back legs).  She has made a lot of progress in physical therapy.  The muscles in her back legs alone have grown 4 inches!  In the video, you can actually see Abigail’s muscles contracting, very cool!

In the second video, Abigail is doing step up exercises with the NMES.

Abigail in Physical Therapy Video- Click Here!

Abigail Physical Therapy Video Clip-Click Here!

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Range of Motion Exercises

Range of motions allows more mobility and flexibly to a patient’s muscles.  It can also help improve circulation by moving the limbs.

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Physioballs (Peanut Ball)

Patients will balance on the peanut ball with their front legs of back legs on the ball.  This will push them to improve their balance in bear weight on front legs or back (depending which is on the peanut ball).  Some smaller patients can also balance and improve coordination while standing completely on the ball.

Lexi almost 2 years old and a very active young lady.  She has been through a lot in her short life.  She has recently had her leg amputated and is doing physical therapy to rebuild her muscles and learn to walk with 3 legs.  

Lexi Physical Therapy Video Clip-Click Here!

Stevie backlegs on ball

For Referring Veterinarians:

Please fill out the following referral form: Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Referral Form