Dog Health | Recovery and Rehabilitation
Why improve your dogs recovery process?
Rehabilitation is the process to regain full function following an injury or operation, and involves restoring strength, flexibility, endurance and power. Rehabilitation is an important part of the recovery process and there are now many options available to dog owners to help support their four-legged friend as best as possible.
Ongoing support to your dog’s recovery process
The recovery process your dog goes through is ongoing, either after daily activities or when recuperating after an injury or operation. Providing rest and rehabilitation after normal daily activities is important to the wellbeing of your dog and in today’s canine community many owners seek complimentary treatments to support their animal’s ongoing recovery and wellbeing.
Managing the dog’s diet is common practice with owners now investing in vitamins and supplements to aid their dog’s recovery and wellbeing. Creating a balanced diet has shown to aid a dogs discomfort and support the natural healing process, invigorate blood flow to aid inflammatory response and maintain a natural and non medicated lifestyle. There are a plethora of supplement options available to dog owners; natural and organic diets, raw or dry options, clinically proven products and options not supported by mainstream science.
As well as being more conscious of the animal’s diet there has been an increase in demand for technologies to support improved recovery such as thermal imaging, pulse therapy, magnetic resonance and other complementary techniques. Along with products such as magnetic dog collars, rugs and beds it is clear the demand for non-invasive and natural approaches continues.
The benefits of proper rehabilitation are well recognised with many veterinary surgeons and physiotherapists beginning to recommend hydrotherapy and other forms of physiotherapy as part of their dog’s ongoing rehabilitation programme. Many owners now take their family pet, or competing animal, to regular visits to their local canine therapist. Not only are these therapies aimed at supporting the dog they offer a fun activity boosting mental stimulation and increasing the animals over wellbeing.
These rehabilitation services aim to improve a dog’s range of movement reducing the risk for further issues or complications. Therapists may make use of a variety of treatments such as massage, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, bespoke exercise regimes and diet programs. Most canine rehabilitation therapists are licensed professionals, with careers in veterinary medicine or human physical therapy. Many support animals with arthritis, competing agility dogs, sporting or working dogs, injured or elderly dogs or any pet recovering after surgery.
Support after injury or post operation
Many vets would agree that surgery is often something to avoid if at all possible; often being the last resort. The majority of surgery is inherently violent and difficult to accept if you are looking to care for your pet in a holistic and harmonious way. It is however often necessary.
Every now and then dogs over do it, asking just too much of their front legs (shoulders, elbows, wrists, or toes) or back legs (hips, knees, ankles, or toes). Sprains and strains are common injuries and can vary in severity. Athletic dogs are more likely to get strains, but this injury also can happen if a dog slips, falls, or jumps during normal play or simply running up the stairs. In most cases, muscle or tendon strains which lead to tissue damage are treated with rest and recuperation, but in more severe cases can result in surgery.
As dogs get older recovery from surgery becomes harder and harder; high doses of medications prescribed to aid recovery can be intrusive on their system. In any case, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications and pain killers are normally prescribed.
Following surgery dogs should stay off their feet for several hours, particularly after anaesthesia has worn off. While their injury may still be bothering them, dogs are notorious for pushing on through their pain. Most vets recommend that dogs ‘in recovery’ stay inactive for around 3-7 days after a major surgery so aiding the recovery process and reducing this period is of significant interest to dog owners. Carefully controlled diets including additional supplement control are common.
Preventing your dog from licking is of importance when treating wound recovery. Your dog only needs a couple of minutes to lick their wound and pull their stitches out! To avoid this scenario and support the dogs natural healing process many dogs recovering from surgery are issued a protective dog cone. These prevent the dog from reaching the dressing or bandages and prevent it from ‘licking its own wounds’.
The final stages of post-operation recovery often include therapies such as hydrotherapy which can have significant benefits in aiding your dog’s healing and recovery rate, helping to build muscle strength and prevent repeat injuries.
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