I have been an animal massage therapist since 2003, and for the first nine years I worked with veterinary surgeons from Poland. I help animals using physiotherapy, therapeutic massage and local kinesitherapy. My patients are mostly dogs and cats.
Therapeutic massage and appropriate exercises give excellent results in the treatment of many orthopedic and neurological disorders of animals. If an animal limps, has a problem getting up, walking upstairs, jumping onto the couch, getting into the car, moves stiffly or cautiously, has an unnatural posture or other similar symptoms associated with movement, it most likely requires rehabilitation. Consent from a veterinary surgeon is required before commencing therapeutic massage treatment.
Therapeutic massage is the perfect compliment to the pharmaceutical and surgical treatment, as it accelerates a health and fitness recovery.
Knowledge of the type and severity of any disease is an important factor for conservative treatment and postoperative rehabilitation.
How does massage work?
It stimulates blood and lymph circulation, improves oxygenation and nutrition of all tissues and systems, supports regenerative processes within the body, speeds up metabolism, helps in removing the unwanted metabolites, relaxes and strengthens the ligaments, tendons, and joint capsules, helps restore or maintain normal movement in joints, as well as prevents degenerative processes.
It also improves muscle growth, strengthens flexibility and endurance, stimulates nerve impulses, improves sensation, balances the functioning of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, reduces or completely abolishes pain.
Animal therapeutic massage differs from procedures performed on humans, requires greater precision and a much better tactile sensitivity, along with slightly different techniques of surgery.
The precision and the appropriate dosage of the stimulus is particularly important for: puppies, kittens, miniature dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits etc. Increased sensitivity to touch has to partially replace the patient's medical history. Animals do not describe their symptoms - so you not only have to detect any individual changes, but also be alert to the slightest difference in muscle tone and reflexes.
The most important things while working with animals are patience and understanding, especially at the beginning of the therapy, when they may protest or behave aggressively. Once they gain confidence and trust in the therapist, they begin to react positively to the treatment. In my work I use techniques taken from different kinds of massage such as classic, segment reflex, transverse and function, as well as lymphatic drainage, elements of acupressure, and also local kinesitherapy. The procedure takes 20-60 minutes, depending on the area massaged, disease entity, stage of rehabilitation, and well-being of the patient.
Indications for massage:
• discopathy, spondylosis, cauda equina syndrome,
• wobbler syndrome, flaccid paralysis, spastic paralysis,
• flaccid paresis, spastic paresis, chronic inflammation of peripheral nerves,
• conditions after injuries of the central nervous system,
• neuralgia, spina bifida, hip dysplasia,
• elbow dysplasia, dysplasia of the shoulder,
• Legg-Calve-Parthes disease, osteoarthritis,
• habitual dislocation of the patella, chronic inflammation of joints and muscles,
• dislocation and subluxation of the joints,
• contusions, sprains, small effusions, heamatoma, oedema,
• thickening of joint capsules, tendons and changes in tendons,
• joint contractures, muscle atrophy, crushed muscle rupture of muscle fibres,
• intramuscular haemorrhages,
• degenerative myelopathy, fibrotic myopathy, contractures,
• chronic inflammation of muscles, pain overload,
• exertional mylopathy, impaired motor co-ordination,
• being overweight and obesity, chronic insufficiency of peripheral circulation,
• post injections, adhesions, traumatic and surgical scars,
• ligament reconstruction after surgery, bone fractures,
• treatment after amputation, treatments to improve animal health and well-being.
Contraindications for massage:
• no veterinarian's consent, fever, bleeding, shock,
• acute and subacute inflammation,
• bone fractures without full consolidation, cancer,
• infectious skin diseases and tissue breakdown,
• heat and oestrus, pregnancy.