Canine Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy & Veterinary Medicine working Hand and Paw to help keep your precious pet Healthy and Happy

General Benefits of Massage

  • Increases circulation of the blood and lymphatic systems
  • Increases flexibility and range of motion
  • Relieves muscular restrictions, tightness, stiffness and spasms
  • Flushes toxins and metabolic wastes from the system
  • Interrupts the pain cycle
  • Helps reduce excessive scar formation in soft tissue
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Transmits the psychological benefits of touch
  • Maintains health
  • Relieves stress
  • Helps maintain a healthy skin and shiny coat
  • Promotes an overall sense of wellness and relaxation

Specific Medical Reasons to Seek Massage for Your Pets Health:

  • With busy lives our inside dogs, much like ourselves, don’t get enough exercise. When they have no way to work off the energy in their food it turns into fat. The fat makes it harder for them to breathe, and puts additional strain on their hearts and joints. They also do not engage in large joint movements which has the effect of increasing the movement of tissue fluid from the extremities to the heart, aka, lymphatic drainage (their immune system).
  • The Massage we offer is much more then “rubbing” your pet. Massage is a way to maintain an ongoing assessment of your pet. Working along with the therapist, you become more aware of how you dog is moving and acting. Any unfamiliar heat, shape, texture or reaction to touch, may be a reason to pay closer attention and possibly seek the vet’s guidance.
  • Medical Massage is especially effective in helping dogs in post traumatic, post surgery rehabilitation. It is presented as a type of gentle physical therapy. The work focuses primarily on the affected parts of the animal’s body.
  • Sometimes the symptoms that our pets present us with are not the real problem. For example, a limp in the forelimb can be a pulled muscle in the back, a massage can help get to the root of the problem.

Side Effects

As with any form of manual treatment or prescription medication there can be side effects that your pet may experience. Generally, the effects are mild and the benefits from the treatment outweigh the other possible side effects. However it is important to be aware of what to look for.

The effects after a massage may include:

  • Next day stiffness and soreness
  • Thirst. Your dog’s digestive track and metabolism have been stimulated. It is very important to keep fresh water available for his/her hydration.
  • Limping. It is highly unlikely that your dog will have been injured during a gentle massage. Muscle memory has been stimulated. Your dog may temporarily re-experience old unreleased behaviors and memories held in the fascia around “healed” injuries and traumas.
  • Drowsiness and lethargy due to release of melatonin and other hormones into the bloodstream.
  • Hyperactivity. Your dog may feel so good that he overexerts, possibly injuring himself. Restrict activity as necessary to prevent self injury from over activity due to release of endorphins and Cortisol into blood.
  • Inattentiveness. Your dog’s body has been in a process called re-education, or reprogramming. He may be confused with the new programming. It may take 24 to 48 hours for the new information to fully integrate.
  • Urination. Your dog may need to empty his bladder more frequently.
  • Fever. Your dog’s autoimmune system is stimulated.

If your dog’s condition worsens, does not appear better, or back to normal in 48 hours, or if you have questions or concerns, contact our office.

(Ref: Healing Crisis, The Nature of Animal Healing , Goldstein, Martin, DVM, pp. 163-164, Ballantine Publishing Group, 1999)