Physical Therapy for Pets!
Sawyer is a 1 year old Australian cattle dog and essentially a little canine athlete. He does disc dog competitions, agility classes, and is an all around hiking/fetch/walking companion. In short, he is very active and puts a lot of stress on his body. Due to all his activity, in an effort to make sure his body can continue to tolerate the wear and tear, I chose to have a “baseline visit” done with a sports medicine veterinarian to make sure everything felt good and to get some exercises we could do at home to keep him conditioned for all his activities. A wellness exam for his muscles and joints! Sawyer has never acted painful, has never limped on any legs, is never hesitant to do any activities, and gave me no reason to believe there would be any issues detected at his exam. But surprise! All the palpating and range of motion exercises were leading us to notice that he had definite spots of discomfort. Nothing was truly “injured” quite yet, but our wellness plan now was turning into a treatment plan so that things didn't progress and cause him more issues. After a few weeks of laser therapy and some physical therapy exercises at home, Sawyer does not have the soreness/discomfort that he had beforehand – not even after being examined after a competition. By being proactive, we were able to treat this issue before it became problematic for Sawyer and were able to avoid any strict exercise restrictions. We now have a plan in place to prevent further problems, and just another example of how easily pets can hide problems and why wellness visits are important.