Whether your dog is an active pet, companion around the home, a running partner, walking partner, working farm dog, show dog or participates in sports such as obedience, agility, flyball, working trials, they are susceptible to injury. Dogs have an ability to hide effects of trauma or overuse injuries which often means injuries go unrecognised and untreated for longer.
The assessment involves obtaining a full history, an initial movement and gait analysis assessment. The assessments are combined with knowledge of the anatomy of the musculoskeletal system and used to identify potential and existing problems.
Canine therapies encompass a variety of techniques including massage, specific stretch and mobilisation exercises and a range of electrotherapies. To further support treatment therapies, structured therapeutic exercise programs and rehabilitation exercise programs are designed to each individual pet, working and competition dog's requirements.
The use of various techniques provide multi-modal support aimed to provide:
Pain relief and pain management
Aid and support recovery
Restore optimize flexibility and normal function, where movement may be restricted by pain as a result of age related conditions, repetitive strain, injury or trauma.
Promote correct development thereby reducing musculoskeletal imbalances and risk of injury and long term / chronic conditions.
Promote well-being and enable animals to function to their full potential.
Optimize normal and athletic performance by enhancing natural balance, co-ordination and muscle control.
In the early acute stages of recovery from injury or post-surgery physiotherapy treatment can ensure improved chances of recovery. Obtaining a prompt referral from your veterinary surgeon to the veterinary physiotherapist is recommended.
Abigayle travels to visit most canine patients at their own home. She also works with a trained canine hydrotherapist, who can provide swimming and water treadmill exercise to provide specialised complementary exercise therapies for dogs when required ie; for low impact cardiovascular training when normal exercise needs to be restricted.
Common conditions that can benefit from veterinary physiotherapy treatment:
Obesity and poor conditioning
Cruciate ligament injury/rupture
Degenerative neurological problems
Soft tissue injury
Tendon and ligament injuries
Age related problems
Common signs of problems which may include your dog being:
Behavioral changes (wanting to sleep more than normal)
Unwilling to climb stairs or jump up/down from height or in/out of cars
Vocal expressions of pain on touch
Stiffness before after exercise/walks
Having difficulty in getting up or lying down
Reluctant to play or to exercise
Appear lame, toe dragging or change in gait and general posture
Reduced levels of performance
Following Assessment, examination and treatments, follow-up and exercise programs specifically designed for each individual dog will be provided for owners to ensure continuity between treatments, support recovery or rehabilitation and support life-long care for dogs with long-term conditions.
Abigayle Williams, Bsc (Hons) PGDip (Veterinary Physiotherapy) MNAVP, Member of BEVA, BHS PTT, Stage III.