Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy for Dogs

Dogs age just like humans. As the years go by, not only masters and mistresses find it more difficult to climb the stairs, but naturally also aging four-legged friends ( age-related diseases in dogs ). In larger dog breeds, this aging process and the associated problems can already occur from the age of six.

Unlike humans, who like to complain about tired bones and aching joints, dogs do everything they can to cover up their physical ailments and not show their pain. Originally, the dog is a pack animal, and in the wild, weak and sick members are excluded from the pack. Therefore, the innate instinct forbids the four-legged friends to show weakness and pain. Only the attentive observer notices the dog’s hidden signals and recognizes that he is not doing well.

Possible signs that a dog is in pain:

  • It shows less pleasure in playing and exercising.
  • It is lame and has trouble moving.
  • It finds it difficult to jump in the car, climb stairs or stand up.
  • It avoids activities that he used to be able to do without any problems.
  • It withdraws more often than usual.
  • It buckles his paws and has coordination problems.
  • During the walk, it sits down and takes a break.
  • Suddenly it doesn’t like being brushed anymore.
  • It appears depressed or unusually aggressive.

Physiotherapy for dogs improves the quality of life

Wear and tear on bones, joints and intervertebral discs or previous operations are often the cause of the pain. In the case of acute and chronic ailments, physiotherapy specially tailored to the dog can improve the dog’s quality of life. An individual treatment plan is drawn up together with the veterinarian and the owners. If necessary, physiotherapy can also take place at home in a familiar environment. The aim is to relieve chronic pain, increase mobility and reduce the use of painkillers or even do without them altogether. Above all, professional physiotherapy can maintain the dog’s quality of life and natural joy of movement.

As in the human area, dog physiotherapy works with gentle and painless methods: The therapist uses physical stimuli, for example, cold/heat (hydrotherapy), electric current, ultrasound, or manual techniques via mechanical pressure and tension, for example through massages, lymphatic drainage or joint mobilization.

Movement therapy with certain exercises is also a fundamental component of physiotherapy. By improving the metabolic processes in the damaged tissue, tense structures are gently loosened and restricted movements are initiated again, the dog has less pain, muscles are strengthened or rebuilt and the dog can regain its old mobility.

However, canine physiotherapy mustn’t be considered a substitute for veterinary treatment. However, it can support veterinary treatment and promote and accelerate the healing process, for example in the case of arthrosiship dysplasia, spinal diseases, general mobility disorders, herniated discs, nerve diseases, paralysis, or for treatment before and after operations. You can get more information and advice on the subject of physiotherapy for dogs from your veterinarian.

Ava Williams

Written by Ava Williams

Hello, I'm Ava! I have been writing professionally for just over 15 years. I specialize in writing informative blog posts, breed profiles, pet care product reviews, and pet health and care articles. Prior to and during my work as a writer, I spent about 12 years in the pet care industry. I have experience as a kennel supervisor and professional groomer. I also compete in dog sports with my own dogs. I also have cats, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

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