Animal Physiotherapists work in consultation with veterinarians to give your pet the best chance of recovery from injury and/or surgery. After discussing the case with the vet, the physiotherapist performs a thorough assessment and formulates an individual physiotherapy program for the animal. You are given a home exercise program which you are taught to do completely prior to leaving the appointment and are encouraged to perform most days of the week. The home exercises are then upgraded at regular review appointments to ensure your pet is progressing optimally.
Physiotherapy uses a variety of techniques, such as joint mobilization, massage, ice/heat therapy, electrotherapy, dry needling, specific exercise, and hydrotherapy to address the issues resulting in pain or dysfunction. Each pet is different, and that’s why there is no set formula for each client. We aim to focus the treatment on the individual and their owner.
Initially following injury, the body swells in response. Even small amounts of swelling in and around the injury inhibit the surrounding muscles, leaving the area less protected from further injury. Pain needs to be managed well to ensure normal function returns in the area and surrounding regions which may have compensated. This is achieved through correct medication and exercise prescription, as well as the various hands on treatments we use.
Scar tissue needs to be strong and supple after surgery, to allow the underlying muscles to function properly. Scar management is commenced at suture removal, and involves dry needling and soft tissue massage, and possible electrotheray. Restoration of muscle length and strength is a large focus, and is achived through stretching, massage and home exercises.
Overall, animal physiotherapy is quite similar to human physiotherapy, and we are all trained in human physiotherapy first. It’s such a treat to be able to apply these skills across to our animals also, so they can achieve their best possible life too!