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What Is Canine Physio?

Many people are unaware of the importance of dog physio and dog massage therapy.

2/22/20242 min read

What is dog physio?

Canine physiotherapy, also known as dog physical therapy, dog rehab, or dog physiotherapy, is a new branch of specialized veterinary medicine focusing on improving and maintaining canine musculoskeletal health, not just through medication.

There is far more to mobility and pain management than just pills alone!

Physiotherapy for dogs involves the use of dog massage therapy, electrotherapies such as dog Laser therapy, Ultrasound therapy, and more!

Humans need physiotherapy, and so do dogs. Dogs these days do much more than they used to in the old ages, such as dog agility and other sports, which like humans their body needs to be able to do these motions to withstand all the stress and forces that's placed upon them.

Many owners are unaware if canine rehab can help their dog… and so are vets, as they are not taught much about this at vet school.

However, Canine physiotherapy using dog massage, dog rehabilitation, and dog physiotherapy has many benefits, that more people should be made aware of!

Dog rehab does have some main goals which are shown below

Dog Physiotherapy Goals

  • Pain Management: Dog massage and dog rehab exercise can help reduce pain connected to conditions such as Arthritis and Hip Dysplasia.

  • Mobility and Function improvement: Through targeted rehab exercises for your dogs and electrotherapies such as canine laser therapy and other modalities, we aim to improve muscle and joint health, which in return helps improve the dog's comfort over time.

Common Techniques

  • Dog Rehabilitation exercises: After the session using dog massage therapy, the dog physio will recognize areas of weakness and will give you targeted dog physio exercises for you to do at home in between sessions which target the dysfunction found in the session. Dog physio exercise areas can include exercises targeting balance, strength, proprioceptive, joint exercises, and many more!

  • Dog Massage (Manual Therapy): Dog massage involves much more than just dog massage! Physio for dogs also includes joint mobilizations and passive range of motion exercises. Dog physio is so much more than meets the eye, and every session is different!

  • Modalities in dog physio: Canine laser therapy, Ultrasound therapy, INDIBA, Muscle stimulation, and many other modalities are used in physio for dogs as these aid the massage therapy and other manual techniques. Laser therapy for dogs and the other modalities mentioned, work on targeting the tissue cells, to basically make them work more efficiently!

Benefits of dog physio and dog massage therapy

  • Dog rehab has many benefits, the main reason is to restore mobility, prevent further injury, increase the rate of recovery, and manage pain that is associated with conditions such as dog Arthritis.

During your dog's physio session, a detailed discussion is had at the start and throughout the physio session, where we talk about the dog's exercise, home environment, and daily life.

However, one of the most crucial aspects of how well physio works for your dogs is if the owner is implementing these at home.

Kirsten Smith Veterinary Physiotherapy, works down in Kernow in Rosudgeon (Southwest Cornwall), focusing on dog rehab, dog physio, and dog massage therapy (however you prefer to call it!)

If you feel like I can help you, please do feel free to contact me through the forms on my website.

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