Alternative Therapies for Senior & Handicapped Dogs

These days the advancements in human medicine are finding their way over to Veterinary medicine. It’s quite common for some pet owners to see a Holistic Veterinarian, be referred to Veterinary Specialist or to see an Oncologist if diagnosed with cancer. The advancement in available therapies for pets has come such a long way in the past 10 years.

The alternative therapy options available for senior or handicapped dogs can vary based on recommendations from your Veterinarian and the needs of your pet. Surgery and medications are no longer the only options for your dog. Many treatment plan are a balance of alternative treatment options and more traditional techniques that compliment each other. 

Alternative Therapy Options

There are holistic care and alternative therapy options available to improve your dog’s mobility. Understand the different types of canine physiotherapy and how they can help improve your pet’s mobility.

Magnetic Therapy

The use of magnets or Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy helps to restore circulation and eliminate inflammation by directing magnetic pulses at a specific area. Although not a cure for everything it is a non-evasive and safe healing option.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture can help jump-start the healing process by treating muscle inflammation and blood flow issues, it also helps with nerve damage and relieves pain.

Through the process, muscles relax where needles are inserted naturally releasing pain (both locally and generally). 

Physical Rehabilitation

Corgi Receives Rehab TherapyVeterinary rehabilitation uses many of the same techniques for animals as physical therapy does for humans.

Through a series of exercises and stretches, your dog’s Rehab Professional will work with them to increase function and build up strength. By addressing range of motion, strength and flexibility  your dog’s overall mobility can improve. Physiotherapy and rehabilitation take time and patience. Be patient and give your dog the time they need to build up their strength.  

Chiropractic Adjustments

Just like a human, dogs can benefit from a visit to the Chiropractor. Chiropractic adjustments improves alignment. This can help treat several joint or muscular injuries (including subluxations). It’s also beneficial for dog’s dealing with:

  • Repetitive Use Injuries
  • Neck & Back Injuries
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Stiffness

Proper alignment helps improve your dog’s mobility and relieves pain. Chiropractic care can only be done by a professional and may not be right in every case. Ask your vet if your dog would benefit from seeing a chiropractor.

Laser Therapy

Canine Laser Therapy TreatmentThis is one of my favorites! Here are just a few of the many conditions laser therapy helps with:

  • Muscle, ligament & tendon issues
  • Post-Surgical Healing
  • Soft Tissue Trauma
  • Back Pain
  • Arthritis
  • Hip Dysplasia

Laser therapy works by stimulating the release of endorphins. Which in turn, creates anti-inflammation and pain relief by using light to stimulate cell regeneration and blood circulation.

UVB Ozone Therapy

Ozone Therapy works by introducing more oxygen into the body and into your pet’s tissues. Ozone therapy benefits include reduced swelling, pain relief, bruising and trauma. There may also be anti-bacterial and anti-viral benefits of Ozone therapy. This type of therapy may be beneficial in dogs dealing with age-related degeneration or an auto-immune disease. Although a newer therapy, Ozone therapy is a safe technique and there are no known negative effects.

Energy Healing

Energy healing creates balance in a pets’ life energy and stimulates natural healing abilities. There are many different methodologies for energy healing including:

  • Reiki
  • Homeopathy
  • Qiqong

Energy healing in dogs can help promote a dog’s overall well-being and help the dog to “re-balance” their life force.

Essential Oils

Support your dog’s overall health using essential oils. With the ability to promote well being, essential oils can help your dog with everything from itchy skin, soothe pain and reduce inflammation. Essential oils can be potent and should only be given to your pet when recommended by a therapist or Veterinarian.

Choosing the Right Therapy for Your Dog

Each therapy comes with its own set of benefits and sometimes the best plan of action for a senior or handicapped pet is one that involves a multi-module approach. Speak with your Veterinary professional today to decide if alternative therapies are right for your pet.

 

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Renee Mills, VT, CCRP's Profile Picture

Guest Author:
Renee Mills, VT, CCRP

Renee Mills is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner and Veterinary product specialist.

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