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Physical Therapies That Can Help Your Dog Recover

December 1 2014

Your golden retriever Parker is tired of being on the sidelines. Parker has always been an active dog, running and playing with your family and his canine buddies. Since Parker’s been recovering from a leg injury, though, he’s had to limit his activities, and that clearly annoys him. You know physical therapy often helps human patients to heal more quickly, and you’ve heard that dog-focused physical therapy centers provide similar services for recovering canine patients. During Parker’s upcoming appointment with his veterinarian from Conway, you’ll ask if your dog might benefit from some targeted physical therapy. You’re especially intrigued by canine massage therapy and water therapy. Read more about canine physical therapies below.

Physical Therapy Technique Menu

Your vet will coordinate Parker’s physical therapy program, and he’ll choose from several potentially useful techniques. Massage therapy and water therapy are popular across the country. In addition, heat and cold therapy, acupuncture, electrical therapy, ultrasound, and targeted stretching can also be helpful in specific cases. Depending on Parker’s needs, these therapies could help him become stronger and more mobile, lose a few pounds, or perhaps reduce pain. Over time, targeted physical therapy can help Parker return to a normal life.

Massage Therapy’s Varied Benefits

You love a good therapeutic massage yourself, as these beneficial sessions can help you reduce stress and even promote healing of injured tissues. Parker might see similar benefits from his massages, and he might seem calmer and more relaxed. Also, since Parker has now become a middle-aged dog, regular massage therapy treatments can help to minimize joint stiffness that he’ll encounter as he grows older. Besides widely available therapeutic massages, some canine therapy practices offer targeted deep tissue massage treatments.

Soothing, Body-Friendly Water Therapy

Parker seems reluctant to engage in uncomfortable land-based workouts, a problem also faced by many overweight and/or older pooches. Good thing water therapy is becoming more widely available, as buoyant water enables Parker to get a good range of motion while the water supports his body. While Parker thinks he’s just playing in the pool, the water’s resistance helps to build his muscles and improve his blood circulation. Many canine therapy centers, and some veterinary practices, use underwater treadmills that allow Parker to walk normally without putting stress on his muscles, bones, and joints. While Parker happily walks under the water, your pooch improves his stamina and strengthens his muscles. He might even drop some weight and experience less pain. If your Conway vet thinks Parker’s a good physical therapy candidate, ask the vet to recommend an accessible therapist and/or therapy center. You’ll gladly encourage physical therapies that can help Parker improve his quality of life.

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