Dog therapy clinic helps Siouxland's four-legged patients get ba - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Dog therapy clinic helps Siouxland's four-legged patients get back on their paws

Four Paws has an underwater treatmill to help canine patients get back on their paws. Four Paws has an underwater treatmill to help canine patients get back on their paws.
SOUTH SIOUX CITY, NE (KTIV) - After surgery or an injury, we often need physical therapy to get our bodies moving back to the way they used to.  But there hasn't been an option for dogs needing rehab or therapy in Siouxland, until now.

Inside the Four Paws Fitness and Rehab clinic in South Sioux City, Nebraska, you'll find a little Corgi, Squirt, working hard on the underwater treadmill.  He's in doggie physical therapy at Four Paws Fitness & Rehab after a bad slip on the ice.

"A dislocated rib is no fun if you're a human, so I assume it's lots of pain for him," says Elizabeth Woodman, Squirt's owner.

To get Squirt back to his spunky, sporty self, Jean Gill, who's certified in canine rehab, works on building strength and stability. 

"I work by what the dog needs and what the dog tolerates," says Gill.

Just as in humans, dogs get injuries, too, like torn ligaments, sprains, and strains.  We spend more time with our pets and Gill says more dog owner's are opting for the surgeries and the rehab afterwards.

"These aren't new injuries these dogs are getting, but people are learning more about dogs, since dogs are more a part of our family and we are taking better care of the dogs," says Gill.

Beretta, a black Lab, has some shoulder pain. Gill gives her laser treatments to her sore spots and works on building her core muscles on a balance ball.

"It's very key to what they need to be healthy and to stay injury free," says Gill.

But Gill's patients aren't just injured pups.  For those getting on in dog years, she helps ease the aches and pains of getting older, like Girlie.  Girlie's owner, Gayle Brunick, has been taking her 13-year-old dog to therapy sessions three times a week for four months now.  She says it works.

"Yes," says Brunick.  "It's like I have a brand new, old dog here.  She can really move around now.  She's almost like a puppy now.  She can run up and down the driveway.  She couldn't do that for the longest time."

Now that Girlie is moving around more, she's lost a few pounds.  That's another service Gill offers.  Doggie fat camp works the pooch off the pooches.  Those dogs spend all day with Gill performing various exercises to burn calories.

The hands-on treatments is all about improving the lives of her wet-nosed patients and their owners.

"It's amazing and fulfilling to see what you can do to improve the quality of life for such a loved family member," says Gill.

"To be healthy is just as important for us as it is for our animals and it gives them a chance to do things with us because we want them around for as long as we possibly can," says Woodman.

Gill says her canine therapy clinic is the only one in Siouxland.  She decided there was a need for it after she noticed her dog, Echo, wasn't running and jumping like she used to.  She would take her to therapy twice a week in Omaha.  After getting certified, her client list grew and she opened up Four Paws Fitness & Rehab in South Sioux City about a year ago.     

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