Physiotherapy for dogs
Physiotherapy aims to maintain or restore mobility when restricted as a result of an accident, illness or old age. There are a variety of different types and applications. And these are no longer limited to people, physiotherapy can be used very successfully with animals to reduce pain, re-establish joint mobility and strengthen muscles.
Physiotherapy and massage can be used to provide pain relief, rehabilitation after accidents or operations, to increase quality of life or simply as a treat. Some clinics offer physiotherapy in combination with wellness for dogs. Massage helps both physically (skin and muscles are warmed, circulation and metabolism are stimulated) and mentally. The gentle touch of hands relaxes the animal, and when pet owners learn how to give a massage themselves, this intensive time together also strengthens to bond between pet and owner.
“Dorn therapy” or the “Dorn method” was developed by German farmer Dieter Dorn and is now also used with animals, particularly dogs and cats. This is a manual, very gentle method with no jerky movements or manipulations. After the muscles are carefully loosened, the thumbs are used to apply targeted pressure to the spinous process. The therapist then moves the dog’s paws to slide displaced vertebra back into the right position.
Thermotherapy/hydrotherapy The use of warmth (thermotherapy) and water (hydrotherapy) also achieves good results with dogs. Heat can be applied using red lights, hot packs or grain pillows, or achieved through warming ointments. This promotes circulation and relaxes muscles, thus relieving pain. Warmth also has an anti-inflammatory effect when used regularly as increased circulation eliminates inflammatory substances. Hydrotherapy only works with the active cooperation of the dog. The therapist gets the dog to carry out exercises in water, or to walk on an underwater treadmill. Joints, the spine and ligaments are significantly less strained in water than “on land” and the pressure of the water has a positive effect on venous pressure and releases endorphins. And the best part is that most dogs love training in the water!
Call into your local store today to discuss your dog’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.