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Canine Physiotherapy

Whether your dog is recovering from surgery or an injury, it’s important you keep up with their active lifestyle. Physiotherapy can help to promote the physical and emotional wellbeing of your animal and improve quality of life.

What is Veterinary Physiotherapy?

Veterinary physiotherapy is a science-based profession aiming to rehabilitate musculoskeletal and neurological dysfunction in animals. Working in association with your veterinarian, veterinary physiotherapists assess and treat a variety of physical conditions in order to reduce pain, encourage correct gait patterns and restore normal movement and function. The goal of physiotherapy is to reduce pain, restore normal movement and function and improve quality of life.

Benefits of Veterinary Physiotherapy

• Reduce pain and discomfort
• Alleviate swelling and inflammation
• Ease movement and improve confidence and well-being
• Improve joint range of motion, proprioception and flexibility
• Increase muscle mass pre- and post-surgery
• Gait re-education
• Providing support for arthritic animals
• Maintaining and improving athletic performance

What Conditions Can Benefit From Physiotherapy?

• Orthopaedic conditions – e.g. hip/elbow dysplasia, cranial cruciate ligament disease
• Spinal stiffness/pain – e.g. Intervertebral disc disease, lumbosacral stenosis
• Osteoarthritis
• Age-related joint stiffness and decreasing mobility/function
• Muscle, tendon and ligament strains/tears/trauma
• Lameness
• Pre- and post-surgical cases
• Neurological conditions
• Pain or discomfort
• Weight management

How will I know if my animal could benefit from physiotherapy?

• Your animal has had orthopaedic or neurological surgery
• They have injured themselves by falling/slipping/twisting
• Lameness
• Difficulty moving around – e.g. getting up from sitting/lying down, getting on/off furniture or in/out of the car
• Stiffness, especially first thing in the morning
• Behavioral changes – becoming more defensive/not wanting to exercise or play as much/not wanting to be touched or groomed as normal
• Not ‘themselves’

Our Veterinary Physiotherapist

Fiona Campbell

Fiona received her Masters’ degree in Veterinary Physiotherapy from Writtle University College in 2018, in association with the National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists (NAVP). She is also a registered member of the NAVP, the Institute of Registered Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapists (IRVAP) and the Animal Health Professions Register (AHPR). These governing bodies maintain a code of conduct, ensure adherence to current veterinary legislation and require all members to have professional and public liability insurance, as well as completing annual Continued Professional Development to maintain their skill set and knowledge.

What We Need From You?

Current animal welfare legislation states that animals may only be treated by a veterinary surgeon or by somebody authorised by a veterinary surgeon. As a result, we can only treat your animal with completion of a veterinary consent/referral form that has been signed by your own veterinary surgeon. Without this form, we will be unable to carry out any physiotherapeutic work with your animal.

What’s involved in your first appointment?

Appointments are carried out here at the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home. If you let our reception team know that you have arrived, they will check you’ve got all the right paperwork and then our veterinary physiotherapist will meet you outside the physiotherapy room. Our veterinary physiotherapist will then take a relevant history of your dog’s condition and will discuss with you your dog’s daily life and exercise. Your dog will then be assessed physically to understand the primary condition and to identify any possible secondary conditions. A combination of manual therapies, (including massage and joint mobilisations), will then be used to begin treating any identified problems. Remedial exercise is then carried out and prescribed, specifically tailored to you, your dog and their condition. All exercises will be demonstrated and explained to ensure you fully understand and are comfortable carrying out any prescribed exercise at home. We will also discuss any lifestyle management changes that may be necessary to help your dog through their rehabilitation. You will be given an at-home rehabilitation plan to take away with you as ‘homework’ to carry out before your next appointment.

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