East Sussex Osteopaths Canine Osteopathy
Home    |     Osteopathy explained    |     training and regulations    |     clinic locations & Prices    |     Testimonials   |    Contact Us
Equine Osteopathy    |     Canine Osteopathy    |    Reflexology   |  Massage   |   Links    |


What is Canine Osteopathy?


When should I contact a canine osteopath?

Why might my dog need treatment?

How many treatments will my dog need?

How long does the treatment take?

Should I consult my vet?

Is my dog covered for treatment on my animal insurance ?

How do I know if a therapist is qualified or insured ?

What can canine osteopathy help treat?

What does an osteopathic treatment involve?

After care for maximising performance

How will my dog feel
after treatment ?


Don't forget the owner!


 

 



 

 


What is Canine Osteopathy?

Canine osteopathy treats all breeds of dogs, bitches and puppies, including household dogs, occupational dogs and professional dogs of all varying ages. Regular treatment of racing and agility dogs suffering from musculoskeletal imbalances can help improved their performance whilst improving their overall health.
Canine osteopaths treat the dog's body as a whole, rather than just focusing on any one particular veterinary condition - the aim of the canine osteopath is to always look for the underlying cause(s) of the dog's problem and return its body to balance. If you are not sure whether canine osteopathy is right for your dog and you would like to discuss treatment with Chantal, please e-mail with your queries.

When should I contact a canine osteopath?

If your dog is recovering from an injury or if you notice a change in your dogs behaviour, as their only way of communicating discomfort or pain is to display changes in personality, character or performance. I.e. your dog may start having difficulty getting into the car, up the stairs or onto their favourite chair. They may not want to get out of bed or go for a walk and may show discomfort, growl or whimper when touched or, worse still, bite. If they are a competition dog, their performance may suffer causing them to become slower, knock fences or refuse to sit, stay etc.  
Misalignments can cause various symptoms and the dog will often subtly change its gait to compensate for the problem(s). The joints involved can become stiff and lack their normal range of motion. Ligaments will be put under extra strain, muscles will have reduced elasticity and be more prone to injury. In addition nerves can become impinged causing muscle wasting and weakness.

Why might my dog need treatment?
Problems can occur in dogs for many reasons including the following:

Traumas and Accidents: falls, road traffic collisions, slipping, fighting
Repetitive Activities: jumping on and off the sofa, in and out of the car
Competitions: Greyhound/Whippet racing, Agility dogs
Breed Weaknesses: Dogs with long backs and relatively short legs are prone to   disc problems (e.g. Dachshunds); hip dysplasia (e.g. German Shepherds);
  cervical vertebral instability (e.g. Weimaraners); osteochondritis dissecans
  affecting the shoulders and elbows (e.g. Labrador Retrievers)
Lameness: From arthritic pain, hip dysplasia can cause the dog to compensate   his/her walking gait, which can develop into secondary back problems.
Post surgery

How many treatments will my dog need?















This depends on the history of your dog, the age and the demands placed upon him/her. I.e. Agility and Racing dogs, much like human athletes, can suffer from over training and may benefit from their joints and muscles being cared for regularly. Elderly dogs often need frequent regular treatments than younger dogs, to help improve their mobility and combat stiffness. Thus, annual check-ups, maintenance treatments, pre-competition/event tune-ups and preventative treatments may be advised. However, this will be discussed with the owner after the first consultation and treatment.

How long does the treatment take?

The first treatment usually lasts approximately 40 minutes, follow-up treatments approximately 30 minutes.

Should I consult my vet?

Yes, it is illegal for any treatment to be conducted by any other practitioner on an animal without a referral from the vet. I will also notify them as a matter of professional courtesy. 

Is my dog covered for treatment on my animal insurance?

Yes, the majority of insurance companies are happy for an animal insured with them, to receive osteopathic treatment from a registered osteopath holding valid insurance, provided that the treating vet recommends the treatment and refers the case. (Do check with your insurer prior to treatment if you wish to claim) 

How do I know if a therapist is qualified or insured?



An Osteopath trains over a period of 4 years, plus an extra year for post-graduate training in Animal Osteopathy. It is also a legal requirement for a practitioner to be fully insured to call themselves a Human/Animal Osteopath. Ask the therapist to provide you with the name and telephone number of the college they qualified from, and details of their insurance company. A legitimate and qualified animal osteopath will be happy to provide all these details. So don’t put yourself or your animal in danger, just ask!

What can canine osteopathy help treat?
These are some of the most common conditions that canine osteopaths see:

• Muscular problems such as stiffness, spasms or atrophy
• Gait problems such as short or uneven steps
• Aging problems such as arthritis
• Joint Pains, Lameness, Limping
• Back Pain, Disc Bulges, Disc Problems, Herniated Discs, Spondylosis, Spondylitis
• Neck Pain,  Cervical Vertebral Instability
• Hip Problems, Congenital Hip Dysplasia, Arthritis, Bursitis
• Changes in behavioural patterns, Inability to Relax
• Poor or reduced performance levels
Circulatory Problems (local and minor)
• Digestive Problems
• Post-operative Issues: Osteopathy can help speeding up the recovery process    and will limit compensatory strains















What does an osteopathic treatment involve?



Initial consultation and treatment will begin by creating a case history, noting any previous injuries, treatments and medications, as well as looking at the lifestyle of the dog and the demands placed upon him/her. I will then observe the dog in-hand, at walk and trot and performing a series of turns. I then conduct an osteopathic examination of the dog, assessing all joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. After consultation with the owner, I will commence treatment if appropriate. The techniques I use during treatment consist of:

Joint articulation
Soft tissue techniques, such as massage, stretching, lymphatic drainage, reflex    and trigger point work
Joint Manipulation (only where necessary)
Gentle Cranial and Functional work

The techniques I choose to use during the treatment will be tailored specifically for each individual dog according to his/her age and build. I do not treat dog’s under sedation.












After care for maximising performance


After treating if appropriate, advice will be provided on rest, stretches and exercise. Follow-up treatments will then be discussed with the owner. The number of treatments required will depend on your dog’s history as well as what is being treated. The initial consultation will also have a bearing on this decision and the owner will be kept fully informed throughout the whole process.  

How will my dog feel after treatment ?

Treatments initiate a healing response which triggers changes to occur within the dog’s body and encourage toxins to be released for elimination; this can often be quite a tiring experience for your dog. For this reason I recommend that your dog should be rested for 2-3 days post treatment.

Don't forget the owner!

Following the discussion and treatment of your dog, the owner may feel that they need a little attention as well. If your dog pulls on their lead this can cause muscular imbalance through the owners shoulders or if competing your dog, this can cause stresses and strains on the human body from the training process or the dog grooming required. Osteopathy can help detect and treat these symptoms, enabling dog and owner to be more comfortable, maximizing their potential in any canine discipline whilst promoting good health. 

Return to top