As our pups get older, much like us, they begin toexperience the aches and pains of old age. It’s after a game of fetch that younotice it: your dog is limping. You check her paws for spurs or puncturewounds, wanting to be sure she didn’t step on something that became embedded inher fur. When you get home, she walks to her bed, does the circle dance andgoes right to sleep.
After the nap she still seems to be having a hard timeputting weight on her back leg. You make an appointment with your vet and checkyour pup again for signs of bites or sticker weeds.
The vet determines that the muscles in her hind legs havebegun to atrophy. Being an older dog, your little love’s muscle mass hasdecreased, leaving her less flexible and more prone to injury.
To keep her fit and pain-free, the vet suggests yourgray-muzzled pup start a regular exercise regimen and begin physical therapy. Physicaltherapy for a dog? Does it really help?
The Benefits ofCanine Physical Therapy
Canine physical therapy, or veterinaryrehabilitation as it’s called in the veterinary world, uses the sametechniques found in human physical therapy. After getting a referral from thepup’s veterinarian, the veterinary specialist tailors a rehabilitation programto the dog’s needs. The ultimate goal of the program (like it is with humans)is to improve the quality of life of the dog. By creating programs that addresssurgery, injury, obesity and diseases in dogs, canine physical therapists havedeveloped exercises that make better and extend our furry companions lives.
In 2007, the American Association of Rehabilitation wasfounded to “educate veterinary surgeons, veterinarians and the public about therole [a veterinary] specialist can play in [canine] health.” Some of the techniquescanine physical therapists use include:
Hydrotherapy: Aform of water therapy, this technique is used to alieve arthritic pain andbuild strength after a surgery. Hydrotherapy demands complete water immersion(your pupper is going to be swimming!) so they’ll need a waterproof dogcollar that won’t restrict their movement or get ruined by all theexercising.
Cryotherapy: Thistechnique is used to treat diseased tissue that causes pain and discomfort tothe dog. By applying intense cold to the affected area, the diseased tissuewill die and make your pup pain-free.
Thermotherapy:This technique is “the application of heat to the body for therapeutical purposes.” Thermotherapyis used to treat inflammation.
The purpose of canine physical therapy is to build muscleand coordination and lessen joint and arthritic pain. If your dog was activeand high-energy when they were younger but have slowed down with age and sufferall sorts of aches and pains after playtime, veterinary rehab will help them getback in tip-top shape. Not only will it get your pup back to feeling good,they’ll have a fun time doing it too, just look at Merlin theCollie Mix, he definitely has a smile on his face!
To make sure your dog has the tools they need to succeed intheir physical therapy work, visit HotDog Collars for all your doggie accessory needs.