Dog & small animal

How do I know if my animal needs veterinary physiotherapy?

Veterinary physiotherapy can help by improving movement and performance, as well as enhancing well being and providing preventative care.

Common signs in dogs that physiotherapy can help with include:

  • limping, skipping or hopping when walking or running

  • struggling to rise from lying

  • finding steps or stairs difficult

  • reluctance jumping in or out of the car

  • not wanting to go for a walk

  • a change in behaviour

  • reduction in performance

  • a training issue that seems difficult to work through

Cats are the masters of disguise, and are very good at compensating for any discomfort. A change in behaviour such as a reluctance to jump on the sofa or other raised surface, decreased social interaction or a reduction in self-care can all indicate a need for physiotherapy.

Treatment can be highly beneficial for working, competition or racing animals to help them reach their full athletic potential and avoid injury.

Many owners choose veterinary physiotherapy for their animal to identify issues before they become problematic, or to help their animal manage getting older.

Common reasons for treatment

  • Osteoarthritis (see our blog post on managing arthritis)

  • Patellar luxation

  • Cruciate ligament disease or injury

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia

  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)

  • Fibrocartilagenous embolism (FCE)

  • Muscle, tendon and ligament injuries

  • Fractures

  • Shoulder instability

  • Pain management

  • Strengthening, fitness and conditioning

  • Joint replacements

  • Limb or spinal deformities

  • Amputation

  • Osteochondritis dissecans

  • Degenerative myelopathy (DM)

  • Cervical spondylomyelopathy (wobbler syndrome)

  • Vestibular disease

  • Surgery prehabilitation, post-surgical recovery and rehabilitation

  • Lumbosacral stenosis