Manual therapy dogs

  • Dog
  • Physiotherapy
  • Analgesia
  • Orthopaedics

Physiotherapy aims to restore the function and interaction of bones, joints, muscles and tissues. In addition, the physiotherapist tries to prevent further damage to the musculoskeletal system, e.g. through special exercises or manual therapy.

Massage in dogs is a form of veterinary physiotherapy. The dog's skin and muscles are treated with the hands. The aims of massage are to:

  • Relax the dog
  • Stimulate the circulation
  • Relieve pain
  • Loosen the muscles
  • Offset low muscle tone

Massage can be used in principle in all kinds of small and large animals.

This kind of physiotherapy is used mainly in dogs, cats, guinea pigs and horses.

Other benefits of massage in dogs:

  • Stress reduction
    During the massage your pet can relax completely and become calm. Stress and anxiety states are markedly reduced, provided your pet finds being touched pleasant.
  • Identifying diseases
    During the massage the physiotherapist can feel swellings, insect bites, increases in girth or other signs of disease.
  • Making them happy
    During a massage your pet’s body secretes the hormone oxytocin, which ensures that your pet feels good and happy.

Therapeutic massage

Relaxing massage

Anyone who knows what a good massage is certainly likes to have a massage. Even if it is sometimes a little bit painful, a massage does one good. It is just the same for dogs, and muscle tension can also be painful for them. This tension occurs due to incorrect loading or poor posture due to diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

The main emphasis of relaxing massage is therefore on relieving pain by muscle relaxation. Relaxing massage is the most frequently employed type of massage for dogs.

Stimulating massage

A stimulating massage, by contrast, aims at muscle tension through nerve stimulation, thereby strengthening the muscles. To intensify the massage aids such as porcupine balls or a brush are used.

This form of massage in animals is important in all diseases that lead to muscle atrophy. This kind of massage is used in dogs with arthritis, for instance.

Connective tissue massage

Connective tissue massage is a reflex massage. The vet strokes the skin in long slow movements. Using the fingertips, he or she stretches the connective tissue. This form of massage in animals not only releases tension and relieves strains but it also stimulates metabolism and has a positive influence on organ function.

Lymphatic drainage

The vet massages over your pet’s skin in the direction of lymph flow. The aim is to stimulate the flow of lymph so that waste products and harmful substances can be better excreted.

This is thus done rather to detoxify the body than for muscle stimulation or relaxation.

How long do massages for dogs last?

The treatment duration is guided by your pet’s mood and reactions. You can see quite clearly whether your pet enjoys the massage and when it has had enough.

As a rule, it can be said that massages for animals take about 30 – 60 minutes. Before some treatment sessions, a period can be required for your pet to settle. This also takes some time.

How much does a massage for dogs cost?

That depends on the sessions and how often the dogs massage must be carried out.

You are welcome to bring your pet to one of our practices. That way we can assess what kind of physiotherapy is suitable and how often it should be given. We can then give you more exact costs.

Is massage therapy sufficient for orthopaedic problems?

In some cases you will have to avail of other physiotherapy services for dogs and cats, e.g., for joint malformation, incorrect posture or pain not attributable to muscle tension. Which form of physiotherapy is best for your dog or cat can only be established after a veterinary examination.

© AniCura

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