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Sea Island Animal Hospital

Orange Cat Lying by the Beach

Our Rehabilitation Services

Couple Walking Dog on Beach

What is Rehabilitation?

Now offered at Sea Island Animal Hospital

Physical rehabilitation is widely used in human medicine and is frequently prescribed for patients recovering from orthopedic surgeries, spinal injuries, and arthritis. Many of our four-legged friends also suffer from these same conditions and can benefit from rehabilitation as well.

Studies have shown that by combining traditional medicine with rehabilitation patients can have quicker and more comfortable recoveries from surgical procedures.

Canine rehabilitation uses a combination of exercises and manual therapies to improve strength and neurological function.

What's Offered

  • Acupuncture

  • Chinese Medicine evaluation

  • Therapeutic exercises

  • At-home exercise recommendations

  • Supportive and assistive device fitting and recommendations

  • Herbal recommendations

  • Therapeutic laser - Coming soon

Shannon Carmichael holding a small brown dog

Shannon Carmichael


Dr. Carmichael is a 2010 graduate from St. George’s University. She has worked in both New Port News, Virginia and Jacksonville, FL in emergency and general practice hospitals.

Dr. Carmichael is certified in canine rehabilitation as well as small animal and equine acupuncture.

She is interested in integrative medicine and geriatric care but loves all aspects of medicine.

In her spare time, Dr. Carmichael enjoys riding horses, traveling, making jewelry, and spending time with Pandora, her Australian Silky Terrier.

What is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative medicine is a comprehensive medical approach to animal care that combines the best of Western medicine with complementary and alternative therapies.



Orthopedic Conditions:

  • Cranial Cruciate Ligament Tears

  • Arthritis

  • Hip Dysplasia

  • Patellar Luxation

  • Fractures

  • Soft Tissue Injuries

Neurological Conditions:

  • Degenerative Myelopathy

  • Fibrocartilaginous Emboli

  • Intervertebral Disc Disease

  • Lumbosacral Stenosis

  • Spinal Cord Injuries

What to Expect

The initial consultation is a 1 hour appointment during which Dr. Carmichael will review any previous medical records or diagnostics; followed by a complete orthopedic, neurologic, and Chinese medicine examination.

A recommended treatment plan tailored specifically for your dog’s needs will be created including acupuncture and rehabilitation. You will also receive at-home exercises and recommendations.

If indicated an acupuncture session will be performed during initial appointment.

Once a treatment plan and goals are identified we can begin setting up scheduled acupuncture and rehabilitation sessions.

Rehab sessions and acupuncture will be scheduled as 30-45 minute appointments.

Old couple walking their dogs

When should my pet begin rehabilitation?

Anytime! The sooner a pet starts rehabilitation the sooner you will see results.

When started early rehabilitation can help prevent muscle atrophy, decreased range of motion, and to restore function sooner.

Most patients can begin rehabilitation exercises as soon as 5 days after surgery. Modalities such as laser therapy, icing, and passive range of motion can be started the day of surgery.


What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the insertion of thin, sterile needles into specific points known as Meridians or Channels on the body to cause a therapeutic effect such as pain relief, hormone regulation, decreased inflammation, and immune system regulation. There are 12 channels in the body that are each related to a specific organ.

Is Acupuncture painful?

The insertion of acupuncture needles is virtually painless. Most animals become very relaxed during treatment. However, it does cause an energetic sensation that may be uncomfortable for some animals.

How many treatments are required?

It depends on the condition, how long the condition has been present, and the age of the animal. Generally, acute conditions resolve faster than chronic conditions. A minimum of 5 treatments is recommended. Depending on the situation, treatments can be daily, weekly, monthly, or even further apart.