To optimize your dogs physical potential and avoid injury
Veterinary physiotherapy has gained recognition as a vital part of the management of musculoskeletal, neurological, and age-related problems in dogs. Physiotherapy involves a combination of techniques and tools such as phototherapy, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, electrical stimulation and therapeutic ultrasound to compliment the manual treatments of stretches, massage, and range of movement exercises. Although physiotherapy is traditionally considered where there is a specific problem, as with human athletes, dogs also benefit from pre- and post-performance physiotherapy to optimize their physical potential and avoid injury.
Physiotherapy may help a dog with the following problems:
- Back pain
- Muscle tension
- After trauma or surgery
- Poor performance
- Stress and behaviour problems
- Lost the ability to jump into the car/onto the sofa/climb the stairs
Physiotherapy can also be very useful as part of a management program for:
- Hip or elbow dysplasia
- OCD (Osteochondritis dissecans)
- Cruciate disease
- CDRM (Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy)
- Wound management
At Therapaws, we work closely with 2 physiotherapists and our own physiotherapist Nicole Skyrme – Sally Butler at VIP Vet Physio and Donna Wills at Animal Physiotherapy. Physiotherapy treatments can be performed at Therapaws, or in the comfort of your own home; however, there is a small charge for home visits. Some dogs may benefit from a combination of hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, myotherapy and acupuncture treatments. Most pet insurance companies will cover the cost of physiotherapy treatments; please contact them directly for more information.
Massage, stretching and range of movement exercises are used alongside rehabilitation programs and other treatments (described below). Muscle strength and elasticity is fundamental for movement, and releasing muscle tension is a vital part of any physiotherapy treatment.
Phototherapy is used in the treatment of wounds, as the machine emits ultraviolet (blue light) and infra-red (red light) rays, which have different effects on wounds and incisions. Red light therapy is also useful as part of the treatment of muscular tension.
Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF)
Electromagnetic fields are applied externally, encouraging skin wounds and bone fractures to heal more efficiently, as well as reducing the risk of injury reoccurrence. PEMF is an excellent tool in the treatment of inflammation in muscles, tendons, ligaments, and the skin. PEMF provides pain relief by inhibiting the pain signal and reducing inflammation, which is useful in osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and other degenerative joint conditions. PEMF is also useful to maintain muscle function and strength, especially where there is reduced range of motion, neurological conditions, and debilitating injuries.