Remedial Massage Therapy
For injury management, post-surgery and dogs that show compensational issues
Remedial massage is a therapy which we use as a means of supporting the healing properties post surgery, as injury management, for dogs with compensational issues, RSI’s and so on. The techniques in this type of massage promote balancing of the body functions, efficient metabolism and will enhance the healing of the cells as to reduce pain, compensation and dysfunction, increase stride length and frequency, improve joint articulation, strengthening of the whole musculature and more. Massage conducted as a clinical therapy firstly stretches the muscle fibres, makes the muscles more relaxed and relieves tension which in return increases the blood flow to the muscles. Now an entire series of events starts to happen throughout the body. With the increase of blood, more nutrients from food and also oxygen travel through the body via the cardiovascular system, being released in the cells as needed. These healthy cells are able to absorb nutrients more efficiently which means food can be converted into energy, may it be for healing in certain parts of the body, mental functionality or physical exercise. Post-operative or remedial treatment should be considered to be done weekly until improvement can be seen. Then the sessions can be spread further apart, fortnightly to eventually monthly to the point where remedial massage turns into vitality massage.
Sports- and Event Massage
For improvement in dogs' performance at and after an event
Certain massage techniques can be utilised to warm up or warm down a dog that is involved in heavy physical activities be it as a working dog on a farm or in sports events such as flyball, agility, treibball, sledding/ urban mushing or going to play lots of fetch at the dog park, run and swim at the beach or be a running partner for athletic owners. Pre-event massages have the opposite effect to remedial and therapeutic treatment: they stimulate and arouse the body, get the dog ready for action and tap into the part of the nervous system that is responsible for excitement and physical peak performance. The post-event part of the sports massage is conducted in order to bring the heart rate down, lessening the tension in the body, loosening muscles and to release spasms, knots or tight muscles in the way of myofascial release and possibly trigger /stress point release.
Vitality Massage Therapy
For improved mobility, physical and mental development and longevity
This is physical therapy for dogs who are starting to show signs of wear and tear e.g. not wanting to use the stairs anymore, being hesitant jumping in and out of the car or having a limp every now and then. Also dogs that are generally healthy, elderly / geriatric or those that suffer from anxieties or stress symptoms benefit greatly from the massage treatment as a maintenance program to help prevent incidents in the future and to support the wellbeing of the dog’s body and mind. We also treat puppies and adolescent dogs to support them during their growing stage. As their body evolves, bones grow and muscles develop it is important to maximise the health benefits of myofunctional therapy so that they can grow into fit and healthy young adults.
Exercise Physiology and Canine Bodywork
To increase joint mobility, balance, range of motion and to strengthen the muscles and improve proprioception
To complement our massage treatments we offer physical bodywork such as pole exercises to enhance the outcome of the treatment. These exercises are designed to be a low activity task that will improve muscle leverage, balance, length of pace, joint facilitation, postural / core stability and strength. This controlled activity also promotes the resetting of proprioception which means the coordination of muscles and nerves.
We establish an individually tailored lifestyle plan for each dog to set them up for a safe and fun life being active and well
We look at each dog’s lifestyle, abilities, condition, age and consider the owner’s expectations to provide you with a treatment and lifestyle plan in order to enhance your dog’s health, fitness, vitality and behaviour. This is planning for the future to prevent injuries, unwanted behaviour and will give you guidance to having a happy and healthy pet.
Giving dogs the opportunity to self-select herbs and essential oils for healing
Canine Pharmacognosy stimulates a self-medicating behaviour in our dogs. We provide best quality fresh and ground nutrients and herbs as well as essential oils that dogs can select themselves for their healing. As dogs can’t tell us what may bother them, this is a way of finding out if a dog suffers from a condition such as anxieties, intestinal problems, internal or external issues e.g. allergies, acute or chronic pain. This does not replace veterinary care but may be useful to direct to a vet’s diagnosis.
Need to know
PRIOR TO MAKING AN APPOINTMENT
What to Expect
During the massage the dog may lay down on the provided mats or their own bed, sofa, carpet etc. or they may choose to sit or stand. This is no problem, I want the dog to do what makes them feel comfortable so that they can get the most out of the treatment. Dogs are free to walk away and we may break the massage into a few shorter parts. We also let them go for sniffies and potty breaks.
For clinic appointments, please note:
Please park in one of the allocated parking spots for “Passionate Paws Veterinary Surgery”. I may be waiting for you outside at the side of the building towards the lake to greet you and your dog before entering the clinic. This is also where your dog can have a sniff around and do their business and I will conduct a gait analysis as part of the treatment plan.
It is important for the dog to remain as calm as possible.
The clinic is air-conditioned as the dogs get rather warm when being palpated (this is passive sport for them!) and you may want to bring a jumper for yourself. While your dog is being treated we ask that the owner remains quiet and we welcome you to read one of our informative articles and magazines. Please turn your phone to silent.
Before Canine Myofunctional Therapy can be applied, we must rule out any contraindications. These are conditions where using massage could cause potential harm for example injuries, unknown health problems, pregnancy, pain, swelling, joint instabilities, fractures or may lead to exacerbation of existing situations such as burns, inflammation, haematomas, arthritis, recent muscle injury and similar problems. Due to massage working on a deep cellular level accessing all the systems, it influences a great range of body functions even though it is a topical treatment.
We will talk about this in the free initial phone consultation and guide you through a plan of treatment. Quite often it is just a matter of time or a certain region of the dog’s body before we can apply massage safely. The Dog Owner's Permission Form can be found on our website or you can fill this out at your first appointment. It outlines the contraindications, asks for details on vaccinations and worming and makes recommendations for vet approval (if necessary). We want to work in a holistic way and welcome the liaison with your veterinary clinic. If unsure, we can obtain veterinary advice from Dr. Amanda (Passionate Paws Veterinary Surgery) on the day of your consultation with us.
Before and After Massage Care
Your dog is receiving a holistic (whole body!) clinical (medical) massage treatment in the form of Canine Myofunctional Therapy. This does not only affect the musculo-skeletal aspect of their body but greatly influences their entire body through the cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, respiratory, digestive and endocrine (hormonal) systems.
The effects of the massage take place not only during the treatment but especially afterwards so it is important to understand that there is a lot going on in their body and mind to “digest” and consolidate the treatment. This is the healing process.
Please support your dog by letting their body rest and heal after the massage (even though you can’t see it) so the treatment can be effective.
Before the massage:
No food (2 hours) as massage affects digestion
No exuberant exercise, play or excitement (we don’t want the adrenaline to be up) as massage affects the nervous system
Short calm walk to eliminate (pee & poo)
Check our contraindications list and fill out the permission form
After the massage:
Provide stress free environment (consider other pets, children, outings, visitors)
Dog may be chewing, twitching in their sleep (this is a good sign as their body is reflecting on the treatment)
Dog may drink more
You may notice increased elimination (pee, poo and gas as the lymphatic system is detoxing)
Will Massage hurt my dog?
No. We work with the principle “Do no harm” in mind. This means that we use different techniques that can be altered depending on the dog’s acceptance. During the treatment the dog is free to move away and show us what they like or dislike.
Will my dog be sleepy after the Massage?
We hope so! If your dog has received a remedial massage it will have affected their nervous system by stimulating the sensory receptors in a calming way. This transfers to all the other systems in the body and means that your dog will be in a healing state and needs to rest for a couple of days.
How often should my dog have a massage treatment?
This depends on the circumstances, age, health issues and your dog’s treatment plan. We recommend that you see us weekly or fortnightly for the first few treatments. Most dogs can go on a monthly schedule after their initial healing phase.
Do you offer Massage for cats?
Yes. The treatment and massage techniques can be applied to felines as well however they don’t often hold still long enough. If you think your cat would be calm and receptive of gentle healing touches please contact us.