Heathside Veterinary Surgery Blog

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Galen Myotherapy

Dogs with joint disease, osteoarthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia, acute/chronic muscular injury or spinal disease have been experiencing the benefits of a new complementary therapy now available at the surgery. Sarah Curtis, a Registered Veterinary Nurse, is qualified as a Galen Myotherapist and specialises in this therapy. Once a disease or an injury is diagnosed and assessed by a veterinary surgeon, Myotherapy can be used alongside conventional medicine and other therapies to promote the health of muscles and underlying soft tissue as these need to be in tip-top condition to support weak joints.

 Myotherapy will improve: 

  • Mobility and reduce stiffness
  • Posture and flexibility
  • aid pain relief
  • reduce muscle atrophy and weakness
  • keep dogs active and mobile for longer. 

Muscular pain is difficult to diagnose because dogs are so stoic in nature. However, it must not be underestimated as chronic pain has a knock-on effect on the overall health of our pets, both physically and psychologically.  A reduction in the perception of pain will reduce stress and other allied symptoms such as coat and paw licking, improve mood (depression/grumpiness for example) and reduce adverse behavioural changes such as defensive aggression (keeping other dogs away because it hurts or is feeling vulnerable).

Sarah uses a variety of massage techniques to influence damaged, injured or overworked muscle and soft tissue.

Muscle becomes damaged due to repetitive strain injury (overzealous ball or Frisbee catching for example) or from chronic overuse due to postural changes as in the case of dogs suffering from osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease.

In the case of chronic joint disease, muscle become sore because the dog has to stand or move in a different way in order to compensate or direct pain away from the diseased joint. A snowball effect, therefore, arises whereby a dog is initially lame in one area, but due to the long-term effects of having to compensate for this, the dog becomes sore or lame in other areas while the muscles surrounding the diseased joint become weak and atrophied.

Sarah has also worked with canine athletes who compete in activities such as flyball, canicross or agility, either in an effort to aid healing of an injury or to help owners keep their dogs’ muscular fitness in peak condition for competition.

If you have a dog that is a little stiff, has changed in shape, is not able to walk as far as before, is grumpier towards other dogs or perhaps is licking paws or joints, please book an appointment with one of our vets or Sarah who will be happy to advise. sarahc@heathsidevets.co.uk

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