All canine physical therapists have their list of massage benefits. Benefits such as improving mobility and gait, stimulation of the healing process, assisting pain relief and discomfort from stiffness, helping restore muscle tone and so much more. These are the physical benefits. Then there all the emotional and psychological ones. Such as relaxation and bonding,
It’s always good to add to that list. Palliative care is one such addition. This isn’t just for the dog, helping them remain comfortable and calm and as eased as possible, but also for the carer. When our dogs are in distress we all want to do something to help. By giving the carer a gentle but effective massage routine they can do with their dog, they know that they are helping and not just watching. And the dogs love it.
Then there are the chance benefits such as Floc and her PooGate. She was constipated…very constipated. Her carer asked if massage could help. Couldn’t hurt I said. Lots of gentle massage over the stomach. Next two days….lots of texts from her Mum detailing the vast quantity of her resultant poos.
And the psychological benefits such as Lord Nelson. When he was rescued he was very anxious and almost withdrawn. Physically he was tight – all over. He’d been confined in a cage too small for him before rescue and his body had simply fit to accommodate. He needed stretching. He joined his rescue brother in his new family. But his brother had his own problems being mildly autistic. He had random behaviours which came out of nowhere but also seemed to find it hard to read other dogs. He preferred to ignore and avoid them.
Springer Spaniel Lord Nelson quickly learned to defer to his brother – a tactic that lead to a happy, content house. Recently his Dad wrote a couple of posts to me. The first was “Lord Nelson actually sprang over long grass several times on the Downs the other day. He used to just push through any undergrowth. That’s the first time I’ve seen. Amazing how regular therapy has given him a new life, including a much more cheerful character”. So that’s a physical and emotional benefit.
The latest post from him was “Now this photo taken on our evening walk on Devil’s Dyke may not look very special to most, but it actually shows Nelson running ahead of Darcy back to me, something he would never do before. He used to totally defer to Darcy in everything. He’s just so much happier since the regular AchyPaw treatment and now a showing new personality, more cheeky, more assertive and so much more happy go lucky. Thank you for the AchyPaw treatment”
“Being cheeky” and “being assertive” and “happy go lucky” are now added to my list of benefits from physical therapy.
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