loader image

Physiotherapy in Pets

What is physiotherapy?

Just as in humans, physiotherapy is a specialty that focuses on diagnosing and treating a number of conditions pertinent to the musculoskeletal system.

The exercises and therapies a physiotherapist assign can be pivotal in both reducing inflammation in the short term as well as improving your furbaby’s ability to bear weight evenly and maintain mobility. In the long term, the goal is to also strengthen the musculature surrounding the affected joints to improve their function and reduce pain, hence improving the quality of life for your furbaby.

Who can benefit from pet physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy can be beneficial for cats and dogs with the following conditions:

  • Post-surgical recovery which can include more than just orthopaedic surgeries
  • Age-related conditions such as arthritis
  • Injury prevention or recovery
  • Athletic enhancement
  • Recovery from cancer, airway or a neurological condition

What treatment options are offered in physiotherapy?
The treatment options available are:

  • Hydrotherapy (pool and underwater treadmill)
    Hydrotherapy takes advantage of the buoyancy of water to provide a minimal to non-weight bearing exercise for your furbaby, which alleviates the strain on the joints or weakened muscles. Hydrotherapy also harvests the resistance of water to help build muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. The hydrostatic pressure may also reduce pain and swelling on recovering sites.
  • Acupuncture
    Acupuncture relies on targeting specific acupuncture points to stimulate the central nervous system. This stimulation is believed to cause the release of chemicals into the muscle, spinal cord and brain, hence promoting healing, pain relief and relaxation.
  • Therapeutic laser
    Therapeutic laser takes effect when the targeted body part absorbs the light wave emitted by a laser device. The absorption of the light wave improves blood circulation and enhances cellular activity in the treated area, which promotes healing. Laser therapy has also been shown to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.
  • Agility, tracking and obedience training
    These are fun and mentally stimulating activities that you and your furbaby can engage in to help rebuild or enhance your furbaby’s strength and fitness.
    Strengthening and conditioning exercise
    Massage and joint mobilisation
Rehabilitation is a very important final step to ensure a good recovery and long term prognosis. If you think that your furbaby may benefit from physiotherapy, have a chat with your veterinarian to make sure the physiotherapist you’ve chosen is suitable for you and your furbaby. Better yet, ask your veterinarian for a recommendation! Here at My Vet, we wholeheartedly recommend the wonderful team at Whole Family Health led by Dr Helen Nicholson.