Integrative Care

What is integrative care?

The doctors at West Towne Veterinary Center define integrative care as any validated or evidence-based care that compliments western veterinary medicine and the combination restores wellness for your pet. Three areas we have found effective are acupuncture, spinal manipulative care (similar to human chiropractic), and veterinary rehabilitation including cold laser therapy. We are able to perform acupuncture on site and can refer you to area specialists for other treatments. There are also herbalists we can refer or consult with.

Modalities Available for Pain Relief to Hasten Recovery:
Therapeutic Laser:  This is also known as Cold Laser Therapy. Many patients see great benefit from this as it helps with pain and inflammation. This is an FDA approved therapy and is just starting to catch on as many patients improve immensely from its application. Our patients have certainly made us believers, however, for the more science-minded the definition is as follows. The use of light energy to affect underlying tissues thereby affecting cellular metabolism leading to lymph, circulatory, nervous system, wound/surgical healing as well as stimulation to acupuncture and trigger points. Indicated for most conditions that require the body to repair and relieve pain. Most patients that respond favorably do so within a few sessions.

Massage: Hands-on treatment helps relax muscles, increase circulation, and loosen up soft tissues, thereby decreasing pain and improving muscle and joint bio-mechanics. Skilled hands focus on trigger points and sources of restrictions in muscles and joints thereby increasing range of motion and function. Stretching is also often completed at this time to help restore normal muscle length. This is very beneficial and is completed along with Laser therapy to really “melt” trigger points. All patients that tolerate it, really benefit from massage!

Therapeutic Ultrasound: The use of therapeutic ultrasound can be very useful for the treatment of chronic injuries especially tendonitis (biceps or shoulder) and deep muscular scarring (fibrotic myopathy.) When the therapeutic laser doesn’t work, we often use the ultrasound.

TENS or Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation: Most commonly used for neurological patients to help re-establish nerve pathways and retain muscle that can’t function. It can also be used immediately after surgery or in early injury repair for pain relief and tendon healing/fracture repair. I combine this with targeted exercise to help re-train patients how to walk/sit/move!

Rehabilitation Room/Therapeutic Exercises: These are specific exercises tailored to the patient and owner on a case by case basis. The exercises target specific weaknesses including building muscle, gait retraining/muscle strengthening for specific injuries and are taught to the owner to perform at home.

Land Treadmill: At this time we don’t have a treadmill, but if you have one I can guide your use of it to help with strength building, gait retraining and conditioning.

Underwater Treadmill: At this time we don’t have an underwater treadmill. There is so much we can do without one, but for some patients this is integral for their recovery. I can help you decide if underwater treadmill is integral for your pet and direct you to reliable sources in our area if that is the case.

Post-Operative Rehabilitation
We want to help your pet recover as soon as possible!

Many patients of the furry kind benefit from rehab just as people do. This is indicated after surgery, specific injuries or in helping to ease the pain associated with arthritis. We use most of the same modalities as are used for people to maintain range of motion, prevent muscle atrophy, build strength, relieve pain and stiffness, build proprioception and neurologic retraining to return to the best function possible.

Each patient is fully evaluated before any rehabilitation begins ensuring that no other injuries or pain exist. Full communication occurs with your referring veterinarian (and surgical specialist if one is involved) to ensure continuity of care and the best recovery/outcome for your companion. By evaluating the whole patient we can uncover problems that were never diagnosed/addressed that can be exasperated by having to move differently than normal. This will allow for the best outcome and gives you the most information.

These are the modalities (See rehabilitation modalities) we commonly use:

  • Therapeutic laser
  • Massage–with stretching and range of motion
  • Targeted exercise including Cavaletti rails, rocker board, peanut balls etc
  • Therapeutic ultrasound
  • Cryotherapy (cold compresses)–or heat
  • Incline treadmill (unavailable currently)

These are the conditions that we commonly treat:


Canine Cruciate Ligament (TPLO, extracapsular, TTA)
, Hip Dysplasia (Total Hip, TPO, FHO), Medial Patellar Luxation, Osteochondritis (elbow, shoulder, hock), Intervertebral Disk Disease–surgical or nonsurgical.

Fracture Recovery


Hip Dysplasia (HD), 
Elbow Dysplasia (FCP, UAP, OCD), 
Spine (Lumbosacral Disease, articular facet OA), 
Stifle (Post CCL, other), 

Weight Management

Overweight (up to 20 % over ideal)

Obesity (20% or more over ideal weight)


Medial Shoulder Instability, 
Iliopsoas Muscle Injury, 
Biceps Tendonitis, Supraspinatous tendonitis, and sprains/strains

Disk degeneration and 
Degenerative Myelopathy

Much of our time is spent discussing how to PREVENT another injury by achieving ideal weight and supplementation with evidence-based joint supplements and anti-inflammatory diets and supplements.

We also will spend time discussing at home exercises to strengthen weak muscles and improve range of motion. Integrative care and preventive nutrition are the best for your pet!

Osteoarthritis is the degradation of joints from multiple causes that ultimately lead to loss of function and in many cases severe pain and weakness. Most senior cats and dogs unfortunately suffer from osteoarthritis. Obesity, inflammatory causes in the diet, and non-diagnosed or untreated lameness can also lead to arthritis.
This can also strike young dogs that have survived trauma or have hip or elbow dysplasia. A dysplastic joint is one that doesn’t fit together like it should. The constant instability in this “loose” joint that is meant to be “tight” leads to inflammation and ultimately the degradation of cartilage and subsequent pain. If your dog has been diagnosed with dysplasia, we can teach you how to guide your dog in exercises to slow the progression of muscle loss and subsequent pain and disability from arthritis.

Pain and discomfort from arthritis will make pets less active. Muscles become weak and joints become stiff, limiting range of motion and thus function. Just like the “bone on bone” contact that causes pain in people, this becomes a dangerous downward spiral of inactivity and can lead to a point of no return.

What is Range of Motion?

Range of Motion is crucial to maintain for many reasons. If a joint is immobilized either by choice or mechanics, the joint fluid doesn’t move. Joint fluid is what feeds the cartilage, so just by performing range of motion you can move the joint fluid to slow the onset of degenerative joint disease. Range of motion also prevents muscle and ligament restrictions. Animals in pain will limit their range of motion so the loss of function of one aspect of the body cascades to the loss of function in many areas. The key is to learn these exercises in a safe manner, as our goal for physical therapy is to provide relief, not cause pain.

Multi-Model Approach to Restoration/Wellness
Rehabilitation therapy involves an integrative approach. Pain management is the first step. Our rehabilitation team can augment your veterinarian’s current treatment plan through the use of appropriate medications and modalities. We can help you determine if your pet is in pain. Medications are commonly indicated, but as many of these patients are senior and have health concerns, our team will work with your veterinarian for the safest alternatives to help your pet become as pain-free as possible. Contrary to popular belief, it is imperative that pain is controlled and ideally prevented for best healing before the pain pathway becomes embedded in the body. When medications aren’t safe we can use acupuncture and/or chiropractic as indicated.
One of the most important aspects is weight management. Our trained specialists can help determine the ideal weight of your friend and provide a safe and appropriate exercise for them as well as diet recommendations to help them reach a goal. Studies have shown that ideal weight can have the same effect as non-steroidal medications.

Proper diet is essential for healing and for maintaining healthy muscle. Our evidence-based nutritional counseling can help you determine the best diet for your pet based on breed, activity and medical conditions.

Supplements such as chondro-protectants (cartilage/joint protectants) and Omega-3 fatty acids can help with pain relief, injury prevention, and restoration. Our evidence-based knowledge can help guide your selection and determine the best way and form to administer these to your pet.

Rehabilitation therapy also includes many other modalities for pain relief and muscle building/restoration. These can consist of simple at-home therapies such as ice and heat, range of motion exercises, stretching, specific targeted exercises or modalities used at the clinic.

Owner Instruction
The success of your rehabilitation program is immensely complimented by what you can do at home. We can teach you many therapies to do at home that can really help improve your pet’s comfort when chronic conditions exist as well as recover from injuries/surgery. Massage, range of motion exercises, stretching, appropriate use of ice and heat, as well as guided exercise programs, will help you facilitate and maximize the response your pet has to rehabilitation and recovery. This is always individualized based on patient compliance and guardians’ abilities.

Integrative Care Staff

Dr. Deanna Clark, Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist and DVM

Dr. Deanna Clark, Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist and DVM

We are delighted to be able to offer Dr. Deanna’s expertise as a veterinarian and certified rehabilitation therapist. This allows her to diagnose difficult to find lameness’s, in addition to care for routine postoperative, obesity management, osteoarthritis management and neurological conditions. Her interest in rehabilitation started with her late 14-year-old husky that wasn’t responding to traditional medications or acupuncture for severe osteoarthritis. Sadie taught her all about the benefits of rehabilitation therapy and how it can add such quality and quantity to our old friends’ lives. Her interest in sports medicine comes from an active lifestyle of running and backpacking and in the winter she can most often be found ski-jouring with her 2 Pointers and Alaskan Husky. They continually teach her the importance of balanced conditioning and rehabilitation therapy as involved in injury prevention and acute treatment. Dr. Clark is currently available on Wednesdays.

Dr. Brooke Lewis

Dr. Brooke Lewis is one of the few certified spinal manipulative practitioners in the state of Wisconsin. Similar to chiropractic in human medicine pain relief and better mobility are the direct benefits of Dr. Lewis’s work. Dogs & cats that have been in pain from injury or osteoarthritis can often benefit from her specialized skills. Please call for Dr. Lewis’ availability.

There when your pet needs us.
West Towne Veterinary Center strives to make your pet’s experience as stress-free as possible. If you have any questions, our contact information is below.


6605 Mineral Point Rd
Madison, WI 53705
Click here for directions.


Mon: 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Tues: 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Wed: 8 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Thurs: 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Fri: 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sat: By Appointment Only
Sun: Closed

Contact Info

Phone: 608-828-3737
Groomer: 608-828-3730
Fax: 608-410-4020
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