Dogs have a wide variety of roles and responsibilities from the loved family pet to working dogs and assistance dogs. There health and well being is paramount and so they can benefit from keeping their musculoskeletal system working in the best way possible whether for a specific problem or just for a general check.
Injury – any dog can injure themselves either through competition, training or even out on walks and cause soft tissue injuries, fractures and wounds. Once a veterinary diagnosis has been made, rehabilitation which includes physiotherapy can greatly improve the chances of normal movement returning. Through a variety of techniques, physiotherapy can help to reduce scar tissue, improve healing as well as help reduce pain.
Performance – both competition and working dogs can benefit from regular physiotherapy. It can help improve performance as well as identify any potential conditions which may affect performance or have the potential for injury.
Chronic degenerative conditions – many dogs suffer from chronic conditions such as OCD (Osteochondrosis Dissecans) or osteoarthritis. Physiotherapy can assist in improving quality of life.
Neurological conditions – physiotherapy can help to improve or stabilise the effects of some neurological conditions such as CDRM (congenital degenerative myelopathy) to help re-educate muscles and gait patterns and reduce pain
The assessment will involve:
- A full history
- Gait and conformation assessment (this may involve lunging and/or ridden work)
- A thorough palpation and range of movement assessment
- Exercises to help improve muscle tone and strength
- Massage to relieve muscle tension and spasm as well as stimulate muscles that may not be being used to maximum effect
- Exercise prescription