The growing rise of physical therapy for pets
Your pet was born to move, be it a dog, cat or horse and without this ability, it is as if their life force ebbs away. When it really does not have to as with human beings, physical therapy can help our furry friends regain their mobility or at least some form of it in order to make getting around a lot easier for them.
Rehabilitation for pets has become a big demand for dogs that are part of the police force and military.
Ways in which physical therapy can benefit your pet
#1 Hydrotherapy treadmill
A special type of treadmill is encased in a glass tank. This tank is filled with water, the higher the water level the less weight the pet has to put on the treadmill.
The treatment is usually started with a higher water level and a slower treadmill speed. As the treatment progresses the speed is increased, and the water level will be lowered.
This ultrasound is a device that delivers heat to the tendons, muscles and ligaments by means of ultrasonic waves which can stimulate muscles. This helps in the healing process of the muscles, tendons and ligaments.
This is called a cold therapy laser which has been known to increase the circulation which can help in the alleviation of pain and inflammation as it increases the recovery time.
The laser stimulates the cells without damage or discomfort to the animal.
#4 Assistance with weight loss
There are various programs and workouts to help get the animal back to a healthy weight and regain energy, muscle mass and fitness levels.
#5 Range of motion
The manual stimulation of the animal’s limbs by a therapist.
The therapist will manipulate the animal’s limb to stimulate the joint and get it to move in the way it should when the animal is in motions. This is known as Passive range of motion or PROM and has long since been a means of physical therapy for humans.
#6 Heat therapy
The use of hot and cold therapy on injuries has been done for decades. We all know muscles must be warmed up before training this is much the same for physical therapy and is done through the use of various heat pads. The use of ice can be used after the therapy to reduce the pain and any swelling that may have occurred during the treatment.
#7 Obstacle course
This is a course that the therapist puts together to increase the dog’s balance and paw placement. The course use includes cones that the animal has to manoeuvre around, inclines that they must climb, tunnels for them to get through, etc. The course starts off gradually to get the animal used to the treatment and to gradually increase in order to grow their strength, stamina and agility.
Physical therapy for animals has come a long way and can now help animals with a wider range of therapy needs such as arthritis, pain, inflammation, swelling, pain, soft tissue damage, problems with their gait, spine injuries and joint injuries. If your dog suffers from such issues speak to your vet as there are tailor-made programs for your pet.