What is Veterinary Physiotherapy?
How can it help your animal?
Aims include assessment of health and application of preventative treatment/exercise to delay age-related pain.
Maintain function and hopefully improve locomotion, relief of arthritis and improve circulation.
Depending on the case a variety of mental and physical stimulation can be applied to maintain body function and muscle tone, and hopefully return some degree of function.
Injured or post-operative animals
Whether an animal has received an injury or is recovering from an operation, a VP can in conjunction with vets provide pain relief and aid the healing process with a variety of manual and electronic therapies.
Treat related injury, maintain or build fitness levels, to minimise injury.
A Vet Physio can give guidance on how best to manage the home environment, for pets suffering from long-term illness
Chance was barely a year old when he was found abandoned in a park; he had been very badly hurt, and was suffering from a variety of issues, such as a dislocated elbow, fractured skull, and damaged stifle ligaments.
He was barely able to walk in the beginning, but with his amazing personality, supportive owners and full veterinary team and intensive physiotherapy, he really turned a corner.
His programme included:
Owner guidance to complete
daily therapies e.g. massage
What is Veterinary Physiotherapy, and how can it help your animal?
A Veterinary Physiotherapist (Vet Physio) is simply an animal-based physiotherapist. The role of a vet physio is to identify dysfunction within movement or anatomical abnormalities (such as asymmetries within muscle, tendon, ligament and bone). A VP will then apply manual and electrotherapy techniques to reduce pain and improve function, treating tissues that might be causing these abnormalities and using exercise prescription to build strength and aid the return of function.
At Shackleton Veterinary Physiotherapy, our experience working within the animal science industry has taught us the importance of environmental and behavioural management for aiding recovery; if we can modify an animal's environment and support its behavioural needs, we can increase positive outcomes. As Vet Physios, we also mimic the role of an occupational therapist; as within human medicine, we have long understood the importance of a holistic approach of environmental management, rehabilitation and mental health for improved recovery.
Assessment will include:
Gait and function assessment: assessing the animal's movement for lameness or abnormalities
Palpation: inspecting soft and hard tissue for signs of abnormalities that may have arisen due to injury or long-term compensation
Range of motion: assessing joints for limitation in movement or pain
Assessment of activity and exercise: checking daily routines to help support a rehabilitation regime
Environmental assessment: assessing environmental factors that reduce risk and support recovery e.g. flooring, stairs, bedding, inclines, heating
Behaviour: assessing for signs of pain, and behavioural changes due to lifestyle and compensation.
Treatment will include:
Manual treatment: a variety of modalities such as massage, stretches, joint range of motion and mobilisations
Electrotherapies: a variety of therapies are available depending on the needs of the client (photobiomodulation/phototherapy, pulsed-magnetic field therapy, TENS and NMES)
Environmental management: advice and guidance on management and environmental changes to support recovery or chronic pain/lameness
Behavioural and enrichment advice: advice on enrichment and management strategies to reduce stress associated with pain, and facilitate recovery through physical and behavioural enrichment
Exercise prescription: tailor-made exercise plans that are checked and amended at each session to maintain fitness, or rehabilitate injury and disease.
Reassessment at the end of each session, to check the effect of treatment.