Physiotherapy in animals

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Pets benefit from stretching and exercise to remain mobile and active throughout their life.  Like humans, exercise requirements in pets does vary with age, physical ability and injuries. Physiotherapy is a way that we can help our pets’ movement and strength.

What is physiotherapy in pets and how does it work?

Physiotherapy aims to improve the mechanism/biomechanics of the body to achieve pain free movement.

When an injury occurs or a pet develops degenerative changes the biomechanics of the body are out of optimal alignment. Pain then develops from these changes and the improper forces through muscles and joints.

Physiotherapy is a gentle way of rebalancing the forces by strengthening muscles and improving flexibility of joints to get the biomechanics as close to normal as they can. Not all conditions can be reversed and in these cases exercise is used to help pets compensate appropriately to create a new balance that aims to achieve pain free movement.

Key features of physiotherapy

Gentle and safe movements.

Well tolerated/enjoyed in most cases.

Gradual advancement is needed to avoid overloading and reinjury.

Fun, interactive time with your pet.

Time to get results varies and should not be rushed. Gradual improvement should be seen, and routine reassessments are needed to check for this.

Which pets can benefit from help with physiotherapy support?

Any pet that is not moving as it should or is showing signs of pain when moving could benefit from physiotherapy. It is important that pets are firstly assessed thoroughly for underlying damage to the body requiring other types of intervention. For example, surgical intervention may be required to prevent further damage or deterioration of function before physiotherapy is initiated.

What are the options with pets for physiotherapy?

Specific animal physiotherapists are available for consultation in Melbourne. Animal physiotherapists have completed both human and animal physiotherapy training. They also have a gym setup for specific rehabilitation treatment after spinal surgery or major traumas.

At South Cranbourne Vets we can assess your pet and provide referral to an animal physiotherapist if needed. Additionally, we can plan, demonstrate, and assist you with exercises and stretches for your pet to help their muscles and joints work more optimally.

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