What does a Physical Therapist evaluation involve?
An extensive initial evaluation may take an hour or more depending on the animal and the problem to be addressed. The medical history, veterinarian contact, diagnosis, results of testing, past treatment and results, current medication or remedies or supplements, routine function or “work”, social/home considerations, and history of present illness would be discussed prior to any intervention. Objective tests and observations would be made to help identify the impact of the injury or disease. Typical areas of assessment are gait, posture, balance, functional skills (stairs, standing up, rolling), sensation, pain, range of motion, asymmetry, muscle girth, edema, skin integrity, neurological screen, behavior, strength, vitals (pulse and respiratory rate), skeletal alignment, palpation, weight bearing. Based on the evaluation results, the physical therapist would develop a treatment program to resolve specific problem areas in the most efficient manner. A treatment plan, goals and prognosi