Why Is Physiotherapy Important for your pet?

Canine rehabilitation (also known as physiotherapy by layman) is an adaptation of human physical therapy techniques to facilitate injured pets by improving quality of life and decreasing pain by helping dogs enhance mobility of muscles and joints. Physical therapy may enhance recovery from injury, surgery, degenerative diseases, age-related diseases, obesity and other orthopedic or neurological conditions.

In recent years, canine rehabilitation has started to extend its scope from curative to preventative care. For instance, improving mobility may drive a reduction in weight which, in turn, may help moderate the impact of age-related issues such as osteoarthritis. Certain other techniques may help maximize physical potential and improve athletic performance in canine sports.

Current Problems with Pet Owners and Pets.

Many pet owners are not educated in the area of physiotherapy and the importance of it for certain breeds and aging dogs. Speaking to some of our friends who are physiotherapist, we realize both human and pet therapist faces the same common problem.

We (either human or pet) are no in severe pain, there is no need to waste money on any physiotherapy. Only should we display signs and symptoms of pain, we might consider physiotherapy.

This is often true for us in the industry. However, one thing to remember is, as humans, when we are in discomfort, we tend to voice out or seek medical attention, worrying that the discomfort will lead to something else. However, for pets, by the time we notice they are limping or in severe pain, it is usually very late into the injury.

Unlike humans, pets are really go at concealing their pain but there are unique signs that they display to inform pet owners about their discomfort. As trained therapist, we often learn to see such signs way in advance.

Each day when we bring our dogs out for their daily walks around our estate, we come across many pets and their owners. 70% of the time, we notice something wrong with their gait (the way the dog walks), which are usually tell tale signs that the pet is heading towards DJD (Degenerative Joint Disease). Unfortunately, most pet owners think that physiotherapist are not as good as their veterinarians and since their dogs are not in pain, there is no need to listen to our nonsense.

– From our Founders of RA Healing Centre.

With the growing demand of pets here in Singapore, many businessmen has ride on the bandwidth to provide local in-breeding of pets. This pets are subjected to harsh living conditions and most of them have some of medical conditions that are passed down to the cute dog you have just purchased from one of our local pet stores.

Most of our first pets are usually from the pet store, hence, it comes with potential needs for canine rehabilitation sometime soon. Over a short period of 3 months, we have seen many Miniature Schnauzers, Poodles, Dachshund, Maltese and Shih Tzu with a various of conditions that requires Physiotherapy. And most of them are not old dogs. They are young active dogs at their prime age of 3 to 5 years old.

And recently, we encounter a neurological disorder in a Golden Retriever (which apparently is also from local breeders) and he was only 3 months old.

Is there anything wrong with these puppies?

Most pet owners will not notice anything wrong with Kylie, a 6 months old puppy. Perhaps you might notice that Kylie is slimmer than most pets (which in this case, it is a good idea to keep Kylie slim). But a trained canine rehabilitation practitioner will catch the problem in his gait, showing signs of Hip Dysplasia. Such mild signs are usually missed out even by trained veteririans as well.

Below is another video of a young puppy suffering from Hip Dysplasia. Notice in the video how Gary (7 months old at the point of time when this video was taken) will skip as he is walking.

I have a small dog so I do not think I am affected!

A fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE) is a blockage in a blood vessel in the spinal cord. When such a blockage occurs, an area of the spinal cord dies. An FCE typically results from an injury to the spinal cord caused by jumping or landing awkwardly. It is also sometimes known as a spinal cord stroke. This condition can occur to any breed of dogs, especially Minature Snauchers but we have seen them in Poodles and chihuahua as well