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
Nicky has been working with my dog Peach, a border collie, for 2 months now and has been excellent. Peach has a fused spine just above her hips, this previously caused her to limp after walks and when she had been lying down. The limping has ceased since seeing Nicky.
We started off with a session a week, to a session every 2 weeks and increased the gap each time as Peach was progressing. I have not seen Peach limp since which is amazing!
Nicky is very friendly and professional, Peach thoroughly enjoys her appointments and it’s great that the appointments take place in your own home!
I would highly recommended Nicky to anyone who’s dog may need osteopathic help, I am over the moon with the results in my dog Peach. It’s great to know she is in good hands and will have continuous follow ups every few months to keep on top of any issues with her spine.
Immy & Peach
Our 10-year-old Rough Haired Pointer, Roulis, was diagnosed with arthritis six years ago. Since then he has had major surgery and has been on numerous painkillers. A few weeks ago his pain increased dramatically and we were worried that it might have been his time. The vet prescribed yet more painkillers. Then he saw Nicky and, immediately after his treatment, started bouncing like a young puppy! He now has one treatment per month and hardly ever needs medication. He even looks different. It is no exaggeration to say that Nicky has not only improved Roulis’ quality of life dramatically but has also prolonged it. I can’t recommend Nicky too highly.
Owners of Roulis
Due to a sports injury from playing tennis I was treated by Nicki very successfully with osteopathy, since then she has started treating Lettuce, my 11 and a ½ year old golden retriever.
My dog has unfortunately had to have 2 back leg cruciate ligaments repaired, as she has arthritis. Since Nicki has been treating her she has greatly improved her mobility and people really don’t think that she is her age!
Nicki has a great attitude and empathy with my dog and Lettuce therefore enjoys these sessions. I would recommend anyone whose dog has problems to use Nicki.
Nicki was absolutely brilliant with our dog Lizzie. She was so kind and gentle with her and Lizzie loved going there for the treatment. The osteopathy helped enormously and Lizzie always seemed better after each session. Nicki was treating her for Spondylitis (inflammation of the spine). We would highly recommend Nicki as a kind and caring person in the canine world.
Ray and Val Carpenter
Nicky has been treating my 8 year old Golden Retriever, Archie, who has arthritis in his front wrist. After Nicky has given Archie a treat he settles down to 20 minutes of massage which he thoroughly enjoys! He moves much more freely once he has had his treatment. Nicky is gentle and kind and Archie loves seeing her.