Canine Physiotherapy is becoming increasingly popular amongst pet owners thanks to the level of care and rehabilitation benefits it offers dogs.
Dog physiotherapy can be used to treat a number of problems, from joint conditions to rehabilitation post-surgery, nerve injuries and muscle strains.
It is also used to address obesity and reduced fitness in dogs, and because they are prone to age-related changes, physiotherapy is an excellent way to slow down the effects of getting older for as long as possible.
Thanks to advancements in surgical techniques, dog physiotherapy has been proven to enhance a dog's treatment outcome and help them get back to being fit sooner. Certain methods can also reduce the need for medication to avoid relying on pain relief on a long-term basis.
Like any athlete, our sporting dogs are extremely focused. Whatever their field, be it agility, obedience or trialing, their drive to perform often allows them to carry on training and competing despite being in pain.
These dogs are athletes and need to be managed as such. Only by being in the best possible physical condition will they achieve their maximum performances and potential.
Canine physiotherapy can help maintain fitness and improve performance.
If a surgical intervention is planned, for example cruciate repair, “pre-hab” can enhance recovery, reduce the risk of complications and reduce post operative recovery time.
Post-operative physiotherapy can aid the return to “normal”, help with pain management and find ways to stimulate a demotivated dog.
As dogs age they tend to slow down and lose some muscle mass, balance and coordination just like us.
They then find it harder to exercise and can put on weight. Increased weight aggravates any joint problems such as arthritis and also cardiac and respiratory problems making exercise harder and further reducing mobility.
Physiotherapy, alongside appropriate veterinary management, can help prevent or delay this downward spiral keeping your dog as active and healthy as possible.
Unfortunately, as with humans, injuries can occur, for example following road traffic accidents or strains during exercise. Physiotherapy can help reduce pain, enhance healing, restore movement and aid the return to function.
The physiotherapy assessment determines the specific treatment required by your pet.
History – This may involve discussion with the owner, and/or vet.
Observation – In standing assessing conformation/posture/muscle development and symmetry.
Gait – Observing your dog move in a straight line, walking, trotting, circling and reversing and performing other sensitising tests if indicated.
Palpation – Feeling for muscle pain, spasm, tenderness and assessing joint ranges of motion.
Following the assessment your canine physio will devise a treatment plan specially tailored to your dog’s problems. Treatments include some or all of the following:
Veterinary permission must be given before an animal can be treated with physiotherapy. Gill will do this for you but Data Protection requires your consent for this.
Download a consent form HERE
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