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> physiotherapy
> underwater treadmill
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> strengthening/stability
Amputation Information
Arthritis Information
Back Pain/Spinal Surgery
Cruciate Ligament information
Elbow Dysplasia Information
FCE Information
Fracture Information
Hip Dysplasia Information
Patella Luxation Information
Shoulder Pain
One of the special animals we treated this month!

Read all about it here!

An in-depth look at this condition.

Read all about it here!


arthritis in the dog

Physiotherapy is a vital component for rehabilitation in the management of joint disease. While the term arthritis literally means joint inflammation, there are many pathological entities involving the major structures of the joint. However a common denominator in all entities is that there are single or repetitive episodes of trauma. Arthritis due to traumatic injuries or osteoarthritis is very common in the dog.

Physiotherapy benefits include:

  • UNDERWATER TREADMILL- Hydrotherapy is very beneficial for arthritis to allow strengthening without load, increasing and maintaining joint range of motion, cardiovascular fitness and assisting in weight loss. The treadmill is even more beneficial for improving hind end muscle stability and strength by mimicking the biomechanics of walking and creating ground reaction forces for enhanced strength, but reducing the impact of gravity. Often swimming is not an option for a dog on the coast due to difficult access (with sand being unstable), and uncontrolled environments or conditions.
  • JOINT STABILTY - Arthritis is often as a result of joint/mechanical instability. Physiotherapy improves joint stability, reduces load, and educates owners for correct progression of rehabilitation promoting muscle stability and strength. This allows the dog to function more efficiently, thus preventing secondary issues due to compensations.
  • PAIN RELIEF - massage, mobilisation, acupuncture, trigger point therapy and electrotherapy helps reduce pain, improve circulation and improve muscle balance allowing reduced reliance on pharmacological management.
  • ACUPUNCTURE - reduce pain, improve circulation, mobility and ambulation, and therefore facilitate the stability and strengthening muscles around arthritic joints.
  • WEIGHT LOSS – it is well known that dogs maintained in lean body condition have reduced prevalence and severity of osteoarthritis. Also improvement of the clinical signs of OA can be achieved with weight loss alone. Controlled exercise (including the underwater treadmill) and dietary advice is a necessary combination.
  • EXERCISE MODIFICATION – very specific individualyl focussed rehabilitation program to ensure safe, fast and effective recovery.
  • PROVISION OF HOME PROGRAM – for daily ongoing management to maximise recovery. If I can teach you some basic massage and stretches and appropriate exercise to do this will greatly enhance your pet's quality of life.  Simple tips on changing the environment at home can reduce the load on their joints and reduced pain.  I will look at your dog as a whole top to tail to see what improvements we can make.
  • CONSERVATIVE MANAGEMENT of Dyplasias–OA of hip most commonly the result of hip dysplasia or trauma. Conservative management of hip dysplasia improves the stability of the coxo–femoral joint and muscle development to encourage correct loading through the joint, reduce subluxation and prevent arthritic changes developing, often preventing the need for surgical intervention.
  • CRUCIATE DISEASE - Rehabilitation after cruciate surgery reduces post operative cranial drawer, resulting in a more stable joint and reduced degenerative changes, especially if there has been meniscal involvement and patella luxations. Partial ruptures can be managed very successfully with physiotherapy.
  • GERIATRIC PATIENT – There are many more options for the mature client than medical management (including cartrophen). Overall reduction in pain, improvement in stability and a gentle controlled rehabilitation program (with owner involvement) improves quality of life in the later years.

Any questions regarding the potential of Physiotherapy for your animal please call Brooke on 0408 022 660.
(MAnimSt, BPhty) Titled APA Animal Physiotherapist

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