What is physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy for animals has become increasingly popular in recent years. Physiotherapy is an umbrella term for many types of treatment including: massage, exercise, hydrotherapy, acupuncture and laser treatment.
Here at Farthings, we offer massage and targeted exercise programmes working closely with two local hydrotherapists. In house we have qualified nurse Frances Gaudiano, who has studied Galen Myotherapy and achieved a merit award in physiotherapy for veterinary nurses from the British Small Animal Association (BSAVA).
Will physiotherapy help my pet?
Patients commonly referred for physiotherapy would be those recovering from orthopaedic surgery and from soft tissue injuries. This can range from a mild muscle strain that occurred after a strenuous walk to complicated joint repair. Additionally, we see many dogs and cats suffering from arthritis type ailments. While physiotherapy cannot eradicate arthritis, it can ease discomfort and help keep joints mobile and functional for much longer.
Any surgery can lead to discomfort that can be alleviated through massage and directed exercise and we have seen patients afflicted with cancer benefiting from the palliative advantages of massage and range of movement exercises. On the other end of the spectrum, growing dogs can benefit from specific exercise programmes that help build major muscle groups and prevent any bad habits. Canine athletes, such as agility dogs, can utilize physiotherapy to prevent injury and help extend their sporting career.
If clients feel their pets would benefit from physiotherapy, they should contact a vet at the practice or discuss the issue at a health check. In some cases, a vet will refer a patient for physiotherapy following surgery or a medication check for arthritis treatment.
What will happen?
Initially a patient will come for an evaluation and full massage and will go home with an exercise programme that has been devised for the patient’s specific needs. Most patients will attend three physiotherapy sessions and then visit the vet for a reassessment. At this point, a patient will either be discharged or moved onto a maintenance programme for massage therapy and exercise. Patients with chronic problems may continue to see the nurse for treatment for extended periods of time.
Costs and insurance
Our physiotherapy treatment is fully covered by insurance and will be listed as a continuing claim if the patient is being seen for a surgical or chronic problem. Sessions cost £37.18 and last thirty minutes.
If you have any questions please email our physio nurse, Frances Gaudiano RVN BVNA DipIDerm BSAVA PhysioMerit, at firstname.lastname@example.org.