Massage in animals is a form of veterinary physiotherapy. The animal’s skin and muscles are treated with the hands. The aims of massage are to:
- Relax the animal
- 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 animals:
- 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.
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 animals, 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 animals.
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.
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 animals 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 animals cost?
That depends on the sessions and how often the animal 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.