Newsletter – August 2015
We are now in to the holiday season, and the thought of arthritis is far from the thoughts of many animal owners and carers. So far this year continues with minimal rainfall and the going under foot/paw and hoof is firm to hard. Even so arthritis, normally associated with cold wet wintery weather can be a real problem for many animals coping with working regularly on hard ground conditions. I provided physiotherapy treatment and ongoing exercise programmes for horses and dogs this month for whom concussion caused by frequent exercise on hard ground causes joints to become inflamed and performance to be affected.
Arthritis means joint inflammation. Inflammation is one of the body's natural reactions to disease, injury or may be the age related degenerative form, however when inflammation lasts for a very long time it can lead to tissue or joint damage.
There are a number of different types of arthritis and the cause of many types is varied and often not yet fully understood. Different types of arthritis have different symptoms and these symptoms may also vary in severity from animal to animal.
Symptoms of various types of arthritis may include pain, swelling, heat to areas surrounding joints, stiffness, lameness, reduced performance and unwillingness to exercise.
In addition to the support which can be provided by your veterinary practice, physiotherapy support is essential for quality of life, continued mobility, performance and ensuring your animals share their lives with you for as long as possible.
What can owners do for horses? Provide sufficient bedding, excluding cold, damp or drafts. Horses also benefit from the use of rubber matting in stables. Working/competing on artificial surfaces. Advice on weight management, diet and supplementation provided by me as a Veterinary Physiotherapist.
What can owners do for dogs? Provide firm comfortable bedding to exclude damp or cold floors or draughts, and non-slip flooring to prevent or reduce risk of injury from slips or falls. Carpeted steps or a ramp to get on and off the bed or couch are advised, and avoid allowing dogs up and down stairs. Advice on weight management, diet and supplementation can be provided by me as a Veterinary Physiotherapist
Physiotherapy: Regular sessions are important and supportive to the continued quality of life in animals living with arthritis, which can be exacerbated by daily routine. Massage and physical therapies can play a great part in maintaining your animals’ enjoyment of life and having a normal active life.