Is there anyone who doesn’t like dogs? Almost everyone loves these adorable creatures - their cuddles and tail wags. And the most heartbreaking thing is when your beloved pet falls prey to some mishap and needs medical attention.
Unlike us humans, dogs can’t exactly tell you their problem. So, pet owners have to be extra cautious in taking care of their needs. It might come as a surprise to you, but physiotherapy for dogs is a major breakthrough. Yes, you heard that right!
Physiotherapy is devoted to physical procedures such as acupuncture, heat treatment and exercise to restore function to an injured or sick patient. This plays a vital role in alleviating pain, improving joint and muscle strength, and allows patients to be rehabilitated following major injury or surgery.
Stretching or passive range-of-motion exercises can be performed as soon as your pet is sufficiently comfortable. These exercises help to reduce joint stiffness and limit muscle wastage (atrophy). Some animals will prefer to stand and others will prefer to lie when receiving physiotherapy. An extra pair of hands is often helpful to help restrain the patient. Use padded bedding for your pet if performed lying down.
Physiotherapy is designed to help recover the lost capacity of your pet and make the best use of function as it returns. If your pet is paralyzed, it might have been said that there is little or no hope that your pet can walk again. No one can know if this is true or not, it will only be time to tell how much abilities your pet can regain.
When to take Your Pet for Physiotherapy?
Your doctor or surgeon will decide when your dog will be able to start physical therapy. Depending on what caused the paralysis, how early therapy will start. In some cases, you may be advised to begin physical therapy immediately, such as paralysis caused by a fibro cartilaginous embolism (FCE). In other cases, such as intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) clinical or surgical treatment, you may be advised to first rest your pet on a crate.
Crate rest means that your pet is forced to rest for up to 10 weeks to facilitate recovery for 24 hours a day. Crate rest does not mean any operation except for the toilet. Crate rest action can damage or destroy the chances of recovery for your dog. Some people are worried that during crate rest their pet will lose muscle tone and want to start exercise early.
There's no need to think about muscle tone loss. It's will be coming back. Consult during the crate rest period with your veterinarian to help your pet meet or hold a healthy weight. As per the experts at Csilla Balogh, when the crate rest begins, the dog will be primed for physical therapy.
What Exercises Are Recommended?
After consultation with a veterinary surgeon, the following exercises can be performed for around 20-30 minutes three to four times daily.
Before the stretching exercises, this should be performed as it allows the muscles to warm up and become more elastic. Help the limb and massage it gently for a couple of minutes, from the toes to the tip of the limb. Gradually increase the pressure, particularly where the muscles are larger at the top of the limb. This should be fun and help calm your dog.
Joint movement encourages circulation and helps to maintain health in general. Joints should be manipulated while retaining fair comfort across their complete range of motion. Stop the exercise and try again later in the day if your pet is nervous, painful or yelps at any point. Never stretch the leg of your dog too far as they would find it extremely uncomfortable.
Place your pet in a standing position using a nonslip surface like a cushion, carpet or bath mat. Make sure that all four limbs are in a natural position and that the paws on the floor are straight. Help your pet to stop them falling and hurting themselves when appropriate. Gradually, as the muscles get stronger, it will take less assistance.
Your pet may be taken outside for toilet and limb activity to be facilitated. When possible, use a brace and abdominal sling (you can use a scarf or towel) for about five minutes, they should be walked slowly and gently. It is possible to place ruff wear boots on the feet to prevent sores from forming on the hands.
Stimulating the Feet
Rub, pinch, tickle your feet, dig your nails between the palms, play with your toes. Do this all day long at intervals. It increases proprioception, which is the ability to feel the feet in space and know where they are. The body needs to remain the road from the brain to the toes after paralysis, and the more you stimulate the feet, the more you give it to operate with.
Exercising with a Ball
Get a big ball (Physioball, Theraball) or buy a Swiss bat. Place the ball under the center of your pet so that your pet over the ball is covered. Place both hands on your dog for protection and roll the ball slightly forward so that the hind feet are just off the surface. And push it back to touch it. Repeat, repeat. It stimulates the instinct to stretch the toes to the surface and offers flexibility in weight bearing.
Why Canine Physiotherapy is Required?
In a variety of physical conditions, canine physiotherapy is an effective way to provide pain relief. The therapy's aim is to restore the functional capacity of the limbs and joints by enhancing movement and improving quality of life. As with humans, dogs are also likely to suffer osteoarthritis (a form of arthritis) due to elbow / hip dysplasia, ligament (cruciate) and tendon injuries as dogs grow older.
Canine physiotherapy adapts the methods of human physical therapy to provide pain relief as a noninvasive treatment and to help recover from injury. For many years in the veterinary world, the advantages of canine physiotherapy have been widely accepted, with vets shifting their focus from palliative care to preventive care.