Physiotherapy for Animals

Pet physiotherapy services for cats and dogs are a rapidly growing veterinary sector, as both vets and owners begin to realise the benefits of physiotherapy for musculoskeletal, neurological and age changes in pets.

With advancements in surgical techniques, and orthopaedic treatment for conditions such as elbow and hip dysplasia and disk degeneration now commonplace, the use of Animal Physiotherapy pre and post-operatively has been proven to enhance the patient’s outcome.

Pet physiotherapy can take place at the home as well as the surgery. Dogs and cats are usually much more relaxed at home enabling a much fuller treatment to be conducted and reducing their stress levels considerably.

Pre-surgical treatments help to lengthen and strengthen soft tissues which become contracted with underuse of a limb. Addressing this pre-surgery ensures that permanent contracture doesn’t result, and helps the patient to retain and regain full movement post surgery. Animal physiotherapy can be very effective in providing pain relief immediately post surgery and during the rehabilitation process, and post surgical rehabilitation can cover a myriad of possible areas such as rebuilding strength, mobility, or re-educating correct gait patterns.

The neurological patient finds immense benefit from physiotherapy techniques to support the muscles and joints whilst the patient is unable to actively move these areas, and the application of sensory stimuli can be used to reawaken neurological pathways and assist in regaining proprioceptive capability.

Age related changes creep up on our dogs and cats all too rapidly, and physiotherapy is an excellent way of ensuring that the effects of these changes are kept in check for as long as possible.

Working in partnership with vets, pet physiotherapy supports musculoskeletal conditions, neurological deficiencies, pre and post surgical conditioning and age related changes; and a combination of manual therapies, remedial exercises and electro-therapies are employed on a case-by-case, day-by-day basis to ensure the very best results.

Physiotherapy supports and directs the body’s own healing processes to ensure the best outcome. In much the same way as physiotherapy supports human medical practitioners, animal physiotherapy is now finding its place as a valuable adjunct to veterinary care.

Musculoskeletal conditions
Neurological dysfunction
Tendon and ligament injuries
Orthopaedic conditions
Pre and post-surgical management
Back Problems
Wound healing
Osteoarthritis and other age related changes
Obesity
Performance enhancement

Each case is different, and physiotherapy has been likened to an art as much as a science.  A range of different techniques are employed, including manual therapies such as massage, active and passive stretches; electro-therapies such as Class IV laser therapy. These are coupled with remedial exercise prescriptions which actively encourage the animal to recover and provide a vastly improved long-term prognosis.

The Animal Physiotherapist is very much part of a team, made up of the vet, pet and owner,