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SoCal clinic helps pets bounce back from injury

Arthritis pain?  A torn ACL?  A misjudged step that leads to a broken bone?  Many of us have been there, and many of our pets have been there too.

Luckily for Southern California dogs and cats (and even rabbits), a Santa Monica clinic called California Animal Rehabilitation is there to help them get back on their feet (all four of them) again.  Our colleague Carla Hall explains:

Nixon, an 8-year-old pit bull-beagle mix, works on strengthening a torn ACL on a water treadmill at California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE) in Santa Monica. The clinic, which opened a year and a half ago in Santa Monica, is the brainchild of veterinarian Jessica Waldman, 33, and physical therapist Amy Kramer, 40, who holds a doctorate in her field. Technically, in California, what they do can't be called "physical therapy" -- that's only for humans.

While an increasing number of veterinarians offer acupuncture services to their animal clients, "there are no physical therapists that are doing rehab with veterinarians," Waldman told Hall.

"I would agree that what they are doing is unique in California," said veterinarian David Bruyette, medical director of the VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital, which engages a chiropractor three days a week. "There are some places in other parts of the country doing this, but there are no other places like this in Los Angeles."

And the price tag?  Hall reports:

An eight-week, twice-a-week treatment program at the clinic -- accompanied by a two-hour initial consultation -- costs a little over $2,000. (They say they try to work with pet insurers.) A $275 fee will get the consultation and a personalized home exercise and nutrition plan.

Read the full story here (and be sure to check out the swell photo gallery that goes along with it).

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times
Photo: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

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Thank you for your wonderful article on pet rehab. My dog has a degenerative spinal disorder and goes to rehab twice a week. Although her illness is progressive, her muscle strength, flexiblity, and general fluidity are so much better every time she comes out of "Two Hands Four Paws." Her therapist, Shaun is amazing and Bella just loves her even though she makes her swim! I live in Burbank, but the drive to Westwood is worth it....animal lovers "get it." We love our babies and know that they depend on us to give them the best lives we possibly can. Please help your animals instead of putting them down just because they might be "inconvient" in their illness.


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