Welcome to West Hills Animal Healing, the integrative therapy center purpose built to meet the complementary care needs of your companions. Complete with 29' x 25' heated pool, state of the art underwater treadmill and therapeutic exercise room, Animal Healing pairs with progressive Western medicine to support both recovery and overall wellness for diverse needs. Our patients range from young athletes preparing for sports to senior pets in need of pain or dementia care.
We have programs designed for pre and post-surgical support, spinal cord injury or paralysis, strength and coordination building, pain relief, and chronic disease management. West Hills Animal Healing is led by Dr. Yuko whose skills and specialized training span traditional Chinese veterinary medicine and rehabilitation. Below is a summary of some of the therapies utilized. Please read our FAQ's and contact our office to set up an initial visit.
Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM)
TCVM seeks to restore health by improving balance within the body, following ancient Chinese medicine principles and assessments. Acupuncture is the most commonly applied therapy but three other modalities may be used depending upon the needs of patients and their families. Herbal medicine can be formulated to treat a specific disease pattern and are typically given orally. Food therapy uses diet changes to address imbalances within the body. Tui-na is a form of Chinese massage that includes manipulating acupoints and Meridians to promote the circulation of Qi.
Acupuncture is the insertion of needles into specific points to produce a healing response. It is virtually painless; many pets feel very relaxed or even sleepy once the needles are in place. Successful therapy is based upon the points selected, the method of stimulation and the duration of stimulation. Acupuncture as been shown to cause changes within the central nervous system, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasms and cause the release of certain hormones. This complementary therapy has been shown to help with many conditions like arthritis, traumatic nerve injury, intervertebral disc disease, feline asthma, allergic dermatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, incontinence and sports injuries.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) and Neuromuscular Electrostimulation (NMES). Mild electrical pulses are transmitted through the skin to help stimulate or manipulate muscles or nerve to reduce pain.
Also knows as Photobiomodulation. Class IV Laser Therapy delivers specific wave lengths of light to the tissues and stimulates photochemical, photothermal and photomechanical effects. The result is the acceleration of the body’s natural healing processes.
Pulse Electromagnetic Field Treatment – PEMF bed and Assisi Loop
PEMF waveforms were originally applied to bone healing for non-union fracture treatment. Further tuning now delivers microcurrent to damaged tissues and provides a non-invasive healing therapy by reducing inflammation, pain and swelling without side effects.
Physical exercises can be beneficial for those suffering from weakness due to disease or aging, recovery from an injury or surgery, as well as general health, wellness, and muscle building for active and sporting dogs.
Underwater Treadmill (UWTD)
UWTM leverages the positive impacts of water on the body such as reduced weight bearing on joints, improved range of motion and resistance to build muscle and cardiovascular health. This therapy supports patients through surgery recovery and also benefits pets with weight concerns, mobility issues and a variety of injuries.
Swimming can be purely recreational, but can also be used as structured program to ease arthritis discomfort, to improve function after injury or surgery, and also to optimize conditioning of athletes. Beneficial for all ages and many conditions, swimming can be an excellent cardiovascular workout, one of the best core strengthening modalities and increases caloric burn for weight loss.
Water based exercises are uniquely helpful in rebuilding muscle mass, promoting cardiovascular status, and improving stamina or endurance.
What is integrative therapy?
Integrative therapy aims to provide healing for patients diagnosed with a wide variety of injuries or illnesses. Integrative therapy merges both Western and Eastern modalities to balance the body and improve health.
What services are available at Animal Healing?
Animal Healing utilizes a wide range of Western and Eastern modalities such as:
- Acupuncture and Acupressure
- Chinese herbal therapy
- Food therapy
- Tui Na (Chinese Massage)
- Spinal Manipulation and Chiropractic Manipulation
- Therapeutic Laser therapy
- Underwater treadmill
- Water therapy/swimming
- Therapeutic and conditioning exercises
- Pulsed Electromagnetic Field therapy (PEMF)
- Therapeutic Ultrasound
What can I expect for my pet’s initial integrative visit?
The initial integrative visit is designed to get to know each other, share goals and concerns and collaborate to develop a treatment plan using various modalities for best outcomes. A traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM) evaluation along with a rehabilitation examination will be completed. All patients will receive initial therapy modalities to match needs at this first visit as well. This is not a traditional Western medicine veterinary exam and concerns outside the scope of rehabilitation cannot be addressed adequately in this format. Please reach out to your primary care provider for these types of needs.
What can I expect for my pet’s follow-up integrative visits?
Follow-up visits are customized to each patient and are dependent upon the outcome of both the initial integrative visit as well as response to therapy. Various modalities, either separately or in combination will be used for treatment. Most follow-up visits are focused on specific targeted goals like acupuncture, exercises, water therapy or herbal and food therapy.
How often will my pet need to come for integrative therapy?
Most patients benefit from high intensity onboarding therefore follow up visits are frequently recommended every 1 to 3 weeks. Maintenance type followup visits are scheduled depending on specific patient needs and progress and are often monthly.
Do you have emergency integrative therapy appointments available for acute injuries?
We make every effort to accommodate emergency needs.
Do you offer pre-surgical therapy plans?
Integrative therapy prior to surgery is linked with improved outcomes in post-surgical recovery. Patients can become familiar with the facility and tools and caregivers can be better prepared for the aftercare involved with some procedures.
Do you offer post-surgical therapy plans?
Post-surgical therapy plans help patients regain mobility and athleticism in the safest and quickest fashion. Integrative therapy after surgery also promotes healing and reduces risk of injury.
What are therapeutic exercise sessions?
Therapeutic exercise sessions are prescribed by Dr.Yuko, veterinary rehabilitation therapist, then facilitated by Alyssa (visit About Us to learn more), our exercise therapist. Both patients and their caregivers learn and execute exercises to meet treatment goals. The complexity and intensity are determined both at the initial integrative visit as well as scheduled follow-up integrative visits.
What is independent swimming?
Independent swimming allows pets to enjoy swimming and water play in a warm water pool with the help of their caregivers. Owners can either watch from the pool deck or join their pets in the pool for this exercise. Animal Healing attendants are available in the pool area for scheduling questions only.
Can my pet use the underwater treadmill?
Underwater treadmill (UWTM) is an excellent modality for certain diagnoses but can actually be harmful for other conditions. Therefore, UWTM can only be prescribed and monitored by a veterinary rehabilitation therapist. Interested in this type of therapy? Please discuss this option in more detail at your pet’s initial integrative visit.
Do I need a consent form from my veterinarian for any services?
We accept both self referral or referral from primary care veterinarians for therapy. No veterinary consent is required but we do find that sharing medical records can be beneficial for complete care.
Can I drop my pet off for therapy or exercise sessions and pick up later in the day?
Day boarding options are limited at Animal Healing but please let us know your specific needs and we will try to help.
Does my pet need any diagnostics such as lab work or x-rays completed before beginning therapy?
All patients benefit from a current physical exam, recent lab work and diagnostic quality x-rays in order to make the most comprehensive treatment plan while minimizing risk. Integrative therapy is most effective when there is a clear diagnosis and health care plan. We are happy to review records, results and assessments at the initial integrative visit.
How do I make an appointment?
As part of West Hills Animal Hospital, Animal Healing can be reached via our website, email, text or call 541-758-4509. Our integrative therapy coordinator will be happy to help set up your appointment.
Can I accompany my pet for the therapy sessions?
Caregivers are welcome to be with their pets for therapy sessions. Some patients are more focused and perform better without owners present but love to show off their new skills through video or at the conclusion of the session. We will work together to see what is best for your pet’s individual needs.
What if my pet is afraid of needles (for acupuncture)?
Acupuncture is only one integrative treatment available at Animal Healing. Needle phobic patients can still receive treatments such as laser therapy, massage or UWTM.
What if my pet is afraid of strangers or veterinary care?
We work diligently to gain the trust of patients experiencing fear, stress or anxiety (FAS) related to veterinary care or handling. Since Animal Healing is not a traditional medical facility, many pets thrive in this format compared to previous experiences at other hospitals. Also, several integrative modalities do not require gentle restraint or close handling (like laser, PEMF, UWTM) so these special needs patients can still benefit from care.
Is integrative therapy used for other health concerns such as metabolic disease, anxiety, dementia?
Herbal medicine, food therapy and acupuncture target balancing the body which can be quite helpful for patients struggling with metabolic disease, anxiety, dementia or cancer or other ailments. Additionally, many of these ill patients receive significant benefit from gentle body movement like that used for exercise therapy, UWTM or swimming.