Canine osteopathy works with the same principles as human osteopathy, and is a system of medicine that uses physical techniques to treat the dog as a whole, rather than focusing on a single area. Techniques are modified to account for the changes in the dog’s anatomy vs human anatomy. This is to promote healthy functioning, by correcting mechanical imbalances within and between the structures (muscles, bones, ligaments organs and fascia) of the body.
Osteopaths look at the underlying cause of the problem and try and restore balance. It can help animals of any age from puppy to elderly, cope with many problems and conditions affecting the musculo-skeletal system; such as muscle stiffness, spasm, tendonitis or ligament sprains; including minor orthopaedic problems. There are developmental and degenerative problems, which may result in pain or stiffness, with compensatory gait changes (how a dog walks/trots) in the animal.LEARN MORE
Osteopathy can be helpful in cases of musculo-skeletal trauma, such as car accidents or home accidents. It works to aid lymphatic drainage and improve blood supply to promote healing. Trauma can also occur as a result of dogs fighting or playing too hard. Home accidents can occur through slipping on hard floors, repetitive ball or frisbee throwing, constantly getting on/off furniture or out of high cars. This may present as lameness, crying out when moving, or when touched in an area. Or you may notice a change in behaviour or temperament.
When a dog is older or if they are terminally ill, they may be regularly seeing the vet for injections or be on daily medication. Osteopathy can be a good adjunct to allopathic treatment in helping the dog feel more comfortable and to maximise their mobility. This may extend the symptom free period between injections and enhance the quality of life. Osteopathy is individual to each case and can be adapted to gentler techniques which are perfectly suitable to use on an elderly dog or in the case of palliative/end of life care.
Whether you have a racing, agility or working dog; a lot of the activities involve repetition and therefore muscular imbalances can occur. This may present as difficulty when encountering obstacles or a reluctance to jump, or reduced performance. Injuries can often occur as a result of landing awkwardly or collision with another dog.
Having osteopathic treatment can help balance your dog, prevent pain and improve performance.
Certain breeds have a genetic disposition to conditions; such as Labrador retrievers with hip dysplasia, dachshunds and basset hounds with disc prolapse. Osteopathic care in conjunction with veterinary intervention can often help to alleviate stiffness, pain and address muscular imbalances, and reduce spinal imobility occurring as a result of these pathologies.
Osteopathy can be useful to aid recovery post operatively by addressing spinal restrictions and muscular imbalances, helping to improve proprioception, core stability and joint mobility. This will be done in conjunction with vet post-operative recommendations, and would be a combination of hands on techniques and prescribed exercises.
If you have a large breed, strong willed dog, or an elderly dog that you are lifting, and are suffering with pain and/or stiffness yourself, then why not use Osteopathy to help correct these imbalances in conjunction with your dog having treatment. Nicky’s human practice is in Hurstpierpoint High Street and is able to discuss any aspects of osteopathic treatment with you via her website. www.sussex-osteopath.co.uk
Our beagles have seen Nicky on several occasions. They’re always at ease and enjoy their sessions. More importantly, they clearly gain relief and for our boys, the treatments have been high impact, deeply healing and correctivve. Nicky is our go to everytime. Highly recommend.
Zoe Swan and Mungo and Maltie October 2022
We have two older labradors and Nicky has given them a new lease of life. The first time they received treatment, it felt like they had drank from the fountain of youth. It was absolutely amazing. The youngest of the two found his puppy streak back, and the oldest decided there was more to life than sleeping in front of the fire. He might not be back to springy puppy, but he is off having adventures around the house again, and causing all sorts of mayhem. Nicky has a natural rapport with our dogs which is delightful to see. From a human perspective, Nicky is a joy to work with, she has a great personality , is a strong communicator, and it’s obvious that the well-being of your dogs is her highest priority.
Wendy Montier and Bodie and Doyle October
Nicky has been treating Luke our labrador for several years. I honestly think Luke would leave us and happily live with Nicky. Even though she has to massage his aches and pains he has total trust in her, and with a bit of wriggling, allows her to treat him. Nicky’s expertise and skilful treatment of Luke has enabled him to have excellent mobility, less pain, and much better joint health. We highly recommend Nicky, but I don’t think Luke would, as he doesn’t like to share!
Victoria Lovell and Luke Storrington
I was so upset to see my dog suffering so. Shaking with pain, unable to walk properly and not eating. The vets had finally diagnosed that he had a slipped disk in his back and prescribed drugs which completely knocked him out and still he would not eat. Their next step was to be surgery. I contacted Nicky who came to our house and gave Dino his first treatment. What a transformation! He was soon back on his feet and eating again. He came off all medication and hasn’t been on it since. With each session we saw more improvement and now he is back to his old self. Nicky is so personable and knowledgeable and the treatment is very gentle. Dino greets her like an old friend, lies down next to her and drifts into a wonderfully relaxed state. I cannot recommend Nicky highly enough.
Elspeth Bunker 5/10/22
Nicky instantly put my nervous dog at ease with her approach. He really isn’t a fan of going to the vets, so having Nicky come to our home to treat him made a world of difference. Nicky was extremely thorough with her questioning and observations, and was able to treat our dog on a weekly basis for a couple of months, which was a huge relief; as our vet had suggested surgery for his back! Our dog absolutely loved his treatments with Nicky and was putty in her hands! Thank You so much Nicky for your support and help with Bertie. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Nicky, she has such a wonderful talent.
Sarah and Bertie Henfield 2022
Charlie suffers with arthritis in his spine and hips and has mobility issues now he is a dear old boy, Nicky has visited 3 times so far and after each time Charlie has some more movement for a while and seems happier. The benefits last longer following each treatment. Nicky is calm, friendly and at ease with Charlie. She obviously has a natural affinity with animals. He relaxes during the treatment session and afterwards. I also like the fact that it is not a big up front payment before you know whether it is going to work. It’s a reasonable rate for each session and they can be as often as you can afford. Nicky doesn’t apply pressure to rebook although I believe you would want to as the benefits are a joy to see. The fact that Nicky makes home visits is another bonus for us, as Charlie travels less well in the car now he is older. I would thoroughly recommend Nicky and her treatments. I’m so glad she was recommended to me.
Julie Shute Hassocks 2022
Nicky has improved the lives of both our dogs significantly with her gentle treatment. This is particularly beneficial to our older dog who is otherwise in quite a lot of pain. Highly recommend.
ML Hurstpierpoint 2022