One of the best aspects of medical and technological advancements is that they not only help the human element on the planet, but our animal friends benefit from peripheral applications. Those well-versed in the discipline of physiotherapy have begun to impact the field of veterinary medicine in a large way, helping to improve the lives and abilities of animals that were in previous generations beyond hope of recovery. Physiotherapy is by definition the branch of medicine dedicated to the maintenance and restoration of function and movement, broadening the possibilities of a greater range of physical motion and thereby enabling activity and enjoyment.
In animals, physiotherapy is often useful in combating aging, injury and disease in just about every species of both domesticated and wild animals. When utilized in conjunction with normal veterinary practices, physiotherapy can result in a more active life for an animal, with shorter recovery times in returning to normal activities after surgery or trauma, In aging animals, physiotherapy can maintain an independent lifestyle that can stave off depression and extend life spans beyond what would otherwise be possible.
In veterinary medicine, physiotherapists are registered in much the same manner as veterinarians, and undergo a rigorous training that ensures each animal patient receives competent professional assistance. Physiotherapy as employed in the field of animal care includes three major areas of application – manual therapy, electro therapy, and exercise and movement. Manual therapy uses massage, manipulation and mobilization to help an animal recover. Electro therapy enables an animal to resume normal activities by the use of neuromuscular stimulation, ultrasound and laser treatments. Exercise and movement performs and oversees hydrotherapy and gait re-education to help with an animal’s mobility.
The processes in which physiotherapy are used as pertaining to animal health are fairly simple, and begin with a trip to a regular veterinarian. After an examination and an animal patient history has been performed and gathered, a veterinarian may refer an animal directly to physiotherapy in cases where the animal is elderly or is suffering a debilitating lack of motion. In cases where extensive surgery are necessary for an animal, a veterinarian may refer an animal to a brief term of physiotherapy afterward to regain the range of motion that may have been lost due to inactivity. In either circumstance, physiotherapy has proven itself to be a valuable tool in helping animals that were once lame and laden with pain to recuperate.
A pet owner should seriously consider the use of physiotherapy to help their animal to have a better and less painful existence. In cases where it is not recommended but may be useful, it certainly won’t cause any harm to question your vet about incorporating physiotherapy into your pet’s wellness plan.