Rehabilitation for dogs is continuing to be a fast-growing field in veterinary medicine. In fact, when your dog is recovering from an operation or suffered an accident, then they will benefit from a canine physical therapist as part of the recovery process.
Canine Conditions That Physical Therapy Would Treat
Many canine conditions exist that canine physical therapy would treat. A few of the common uses of physical therapy include relieving arthritis and treatment following hip dysplasia or ligament surgery. Physical therapy for your dog can also be beneficial when your dog suffers from musculoskeletal conditions such as luxated patella or a dislocation.
When your dog is diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy or intervertebral disc disease, then your dog will greatly benefit from therapy.
Therapy can even be beneficial to your dog if they are considered to be obese, due to the impact that their weight has on the joints.
Knowing When Your Dog Is in Need of Physical Therapy
Your dog may show obvious signs of needing physical therapy due to any pain or injury they are suffering from. These signs may include panting heavily, limping, or whimpering. Sometimes the injury may not be noticeable, which will usually be due to the conditions being chronic in nature.
Besides these signs, there are others such as these:
- Napping longer than usual
- Hesitating to walk up or down steps
- Struggling to lie down or get up
Consulting with a veterinarian will allow you to obtain the best advice for your canine’s health, and they will be able to recommend whether your dog would benefit from physical therapy.
Before they prescribe a physical therapy treatment plan, they will conduct bloodwork and thoroughly examine your dog. They will use these exams as a means to rule out any other causes. Once all other causes have been ruled out, they will advise you about the reasons why your dog may need physical therapy.
Nevertheless, here are five more specific reasons your dog may need physical therapy.
1. Relieve Their Arthritis
When your dog is experiencing osteoarthritis, they will be having a lot of pain in their joints. This pain will cause them to become lame and less active. This osteoarthritis will be seen a lot among the older dog population.
When your dog is experiencing arthritis, then your vet will refer them to a therapist who is able to conduct exercises to stretch the limbs and massage joints, as well as help you develop a routine at home.
2. Assist in Recovery
Incorporating massage is a great way to assist in recovery. It can keep the nervous system stimulated and help damaged nerves to wake up. This can be especially helpful for a torn ACL in dogs that was repaired through a surgical procedure. Physical therapy can also help with recovery involving fractures, joint surgery, or a luxating patella.
Following the surgery, the muscles may become tight and sore. When the muscles are tight and sore, your dog will have exercises conducted to keep the muscles stretched so that movement is encouraged.
When your dog has experienced muscle loss, having physical therapy will encourage your dog to bear weight and allow them to rebuild muscle mass.
3. Enhance Movement
When your dog is experiencing a neurological ailment involving physical movement, then having physical therapy can enhance their movements and have your dog re-educated in coordinating their paw and eye movements with exercises focusing on strength.
4. Quality of Life Is Enhanced
Many health conditions could be resolved through the use of physical therapy and can easily assist in relieving joint issues, dysplasia, wounds, pain in the ligaments and muscles, and any other problems.
5. Improve a Dog’s Performance
If you have a show dog, then they will be exposed to more risks for injuries and damage to joints and ligaments.
By having physical therapy, it can help maintain your dog’s overall physical health so that injury can be avoided. Physical therapy will also be able to keep soreness at a minimum so that they can continue to perform at their peak.
When your dog has physical therapy, their muscles, ligaments, and strength can be restored to normal. Your dog will then be able to enjoy their life again living pain-free.