Pet Massage and it’s Impact on Arthritis in Dogs

by Dr. Regehr

Shawnee Vet at Perimeter Veterinary Center

I have been bragging to my friends the past several weeks about “Molly”, my little old chocolate Labrador, becoming more active and agile since she has been getting massages. For 8 weeks Molly has been getting a weekly massage here in the office by a client named Bree.Bree is human massage therapist who is also a certified canine massage provider. She is dog mom to “Sabra” a big Shepherd mix girl with a delightfully squishy face!

Beyond diet, arthritis medications, and supplements there is a whole realm of alternatives that aide in the relief of pain and muscle loss due to arthritis. Physical therapy, Massage, Cold laser treatments, and acupuncture are some of the common treatments. Given those four choices, how do you pick what is best for your pet?

I chose massage for Molly for a couple reasons. The most important being that I already know Bree and have significant trust in her skills. She is so passionate about canine massage and has shared so many success stories with us over the past couple years.  Secondly, Bree can come to the clinic, a place where Molly is already familiar and comfortable.

It took Molly a few weeks to really relax and understand what would happen each time. At the 3rd or 4th massage Molly trotted into the room and flopped onto the blanket in Bree’s lap. She now flips on her own when Bree needs her to switch sides. She gets super excited to see Bree and each week is more playful with her.

You might ask how I know it is helping and how can I gauge the benefits. After the second week Molly jumped onto our bed one night. She hasn’t been able to do that for 6 months. Now, she is napping on our bed during the day and sneaking up there at night again.

Inability to climb stairs and get on furniture are two classic signs of joint pain that people can measure at home. Our dogs and cats don’t quit getting on the furniture because they’ve suddenly decided to respect our space! They are painful.

Molly’s agility has increased and she is brighter. Weekly massages have improved Molly’s quality of life significantly, and I didn’t have to add another pill to achieve that success. Her improvement has been a great gift to our family as we celebrate Molly’s 14th birthday on December 1.

We’ve been so pleased with Molly’s results that Bree is now going to offer pet massage here at Perimeter Veterinary Center. If you are interested for your pet, please give us a call at 913-742-8387

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