3 Therapies for Your Pet’s Health
With the increase in health care options and alternative therapies in recent years, many pet lovers are considering therapy treatments for their fuzzy friends. A wide range of options, such as pet light therapy and veterinary massage therapy, made it difficult to choose the best therapy for pets.
Here we explore the 3 most common therapies for your pet’s health.
Veterinary Massage Therapy
Veterinary massage therapy for pets has recently seen a rise in popularity among pet owners and rehabilitators. Massage has its benefits in humans, and the same benefits can also be seen in our fuzzy companions.
It can be used at home for relaxation and stress relief, to help pets with anxiety or nervous disorders, to relieve arthritis and to heal muscles, joints, and bones.
Pet massage is often prescribed by many veterinarians to facilitate post-surgical recovery. It is part of canine physiotherapy to help improve function, reduce pain, and help with rehabilitation.
The popularity of massage is growing so rapidly that canine rehabilitation has become its own certification, and veterinary staff can obtain canine massage certifications with therapy.
The benefits of massage therapy can range from basic stress and pain relief to full surgical recovery. The objectives of massage therapy include pain relief, reduction of tissue inflammation, reduction of muscle tension, improvement of tissue circulation and scarring, reduction of fibrous adhesions, and improvement of range of motion.
Pain relief and reduced muscle tension are important factors in calming nervous or anxious pets. Pets who have experienced trauma in a previous home, face the stress of a housing environment, suffer from separation anxiety, and may benefit more from these effects. Massaging your pet is also a great bonding experience to help him get closer.
Better circulation, tissue healing, and reduced adhesions are important factors in surgical recovery. The massage will help the blood to circulate better, providing nutrients and tissue healing factors that speed up recovery and allow wounds to heal. Reduced adhesion means that the recovered limb will have a greater range of motion with less risk of arthritis and pain.
Pet Light Therapy
Using laser light, LLLT enters your pet’s skin, blood, muscles, and bones using specific photon wavelengths. The photoreceptors in your animal’s cells absorb this light energy, enhancing the healing process by giving the cells a boost of energy.
Different wavelengths reach different layers of tissue. Red light, for example, is more effectively absorbed by hemoglobin-rich tissues and is beneficial for the healing of superficial wounds and stimulation of acupressure points.
Near-infrared light can pass through deeper tissues such as tendons, ligaments, bones, joints, and muscles. Ideally, a combination of red and near-infrared light is used in a light therapy session.
The relaxing quality of light or laser therapy benefits almost all pets. Furthermore, it can give older pets a better quality of life and improve pain control. By increasing comfort and mobility, these small therapeutic tools can further enhance your pet’s well-being.
Some laser therapies may require medical professionals to administer the treatment. On the other hand, others are similar to the light therapy kits available to humans. Ask your vet whether you can operate one for your pet.
Acupuncture and Acupressure
Acupuncture and acupressure are grounded on the ancient Chinese theory of energy flow through the canals of the body that are connected to certain internal organs.
Acupuncture is used to help lessen pain and inflammation in pets by stimulating energy in their bodies to help start the healing process. Current veterinary acupuncture actually uses a number of systems to help treat your pet’s problems, including standard acupuncture needles, and electrical or laser stimulation as a spring of encouragement.
Like acupuncture, acupressure follows the same idea of stimulating the energy of the body, without the needles. Typically, your fingers and/or thumbs are used to apply pressure to specific areas of your pet’s body to reduce aches and pains.
Since the needs of each pet are unique to the conditions being treated, as well as other factors such as age, and acupuncture treatment plan will vary. In most cases, the animals begin to feel relief from the first sessions.
Typically, a treatment plan will include an initial consultation and examination, and subsequent sessions with a specialist that will last between 10 and 30 minutes. Many customers worry about whether their pet will be able to manage needles or the length of the session. Still, in most cases, pets find these sessions very relaxing (and some even fall asleep).
As a complementary treatment, acupuncture is a wonderful option for pets who suffer from chronic pain from arthritis and degenerative joint diseases or who are recovering from surgery or injuries, among other problems.
Acupuncture can provide relief in place of or in conjunction with pharmaceutical and/or surgical procedures. As a relatively painless, non-invasive modality, it may be a better choice for many pet owners who wish to minimize the discomfort of their animals.
The Bottom Line: Consult your vet and decide which therapy best suits your loving pet!