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6 reasons to take your dog for physiotherapy

Latest News Tags: dog, physitotherapy, WitsEnd

PuppyDid you know rehabilitation is one of the fastest growing sectors of veterinary medicine? If your dog is struggling after an accident, operation or general old age and needs help then physiotherapy can be a decisive factor in aiding its recovery. Here are some reasons why.

1 – Improve your dog’s arthritis

Osteoarthritis is a painful disease, which affects joints causing them to become inflamed and sore, which can lead to low levels of activity, stiff movements, and lameness. Older dogs especially are at high risk of this disease.

If your dog has been referred by a vet for arthritis then they may be able to benefit from the skills of a veterinary physiotherapist who can massage affected joints, perform stretching exercises and help you to put together a plan for home routines.

2 – Help your dog recover from surgery

Massaging techniques can be used to stimulate the nervous system and awaken nerves which may have been damaged, which can be very beneficial for dogs that have recently had surgery (e.g. cruciate injury, luxating patella, fractures, elbow surgery). After an operation, the dog’s muscles may be sore and tight and stretching exercises can be used to encourage movement. Your dog may be lacking muscle mass or holding its leg up due to a combination of discomfort and muscle loss. Physiotherapy can help encourage weight bearing and promote muscle development.

3 – Improve co-ordination

Dogs that suffer from neurological conditions may find that their co-ordination and physical movement is badly affected. A dedicated veterinary physiotherapist can help to re-educate your dog, developing its eye/paw co-ordination through strength and movement exercises, such as ‘weaves’ and ‘figure of eight’.

4- Improve your dog’s quality of life

Alongside arthritis, there are a number of different problems which physiotherapy can help with, including improving symptoms of joint problems, elbow and hip dysplasia, problems with bones, muscle pain, wounds, restricted mobility, ligament pain and problems with daily functions.

5 – Maximise performance for show dogs

Show dogs can be more exposed to risks such as soft tissue damage. If you need your dog to perform on the big day then a physiotherapy session may help to alleviate soreness, stiffness and tissue damage so that your dog can perform to its best abilities.

6 – It’s covered in your pet insurance!

You will be happy to discover that most insurance companies will cover physiotherapy treatment which means you can focus on your pets health rather than finance. Although most high-quality plans will cover physiotherapy, you should always contact your insurance company for confirmation first.

In-order to undertake physiotherapy your dog must first be referred by their vet. More information on our physiotherapy plans, including conditions that can benefit from physiotherapy, details of techniques and more can be found here.

Dr Shahad Mohammed
Veterinary Physiotherapist
National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists
Dr Shahad Mohammed