Physiotherapy for small animals is essential in the prevention, cure and rehabilitation of many conditions, particularly arthritis. Following soft tissue injuries, fractures, trauma or surgery, physiotherapy is used to accelerate the rehabilitation process and restore function. Physiotherapy aims to restore proper movement, strength and function, reduce pain, swelling and inflammation and improve quality of life and function.
Physiotherapy is best commenced soon after the injury or surgery but this doesn’t mean strenuous exercise. Gentle passive movements and hands-on techniques to reduce pain, stimulate healing and improve circulation are essential, as well as reducing stiffness and preventing and treating muscle atrophy. Laser therapy is often used during sessions to accelerate healing.
Our physiotherapist will teach owners techniques such as massage, stretches, and rehabilitation exercises. She will give advice on the home environment, as hazards such as slippery floors, stairs, incorrect bedding and exercise type/routines can be avoided. This will help owners help their pets recover.
What conditions do we treat?
- Arthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia
- Post operative spinal surgery, hip replacements, cruciate repairs, patella surgery, fracture repairs and various corrective surgeries
- Soft tissue injuries to muscle, tendon and ligaments
- Many other conditions and surgeries which effect function, movement and quality of life in the short and long term
The physiotherapy session
On the first visit a full assessment will be carried out. Your pet will receive treatment and a rehabilitation plan will be given. This will be specific to your pets needs. A follow up appointment will be made.
The number of sessions required will depend on the nature and severity of the condition, often a one off appointment can really help. Most animals really enjoy physiotherapy, especially the massage.
All patients require a vet referral prior to their first appointment. Regular liaison with the vet ensures continuity of care and specific rehabilitation requirements are met.
About our ACPAT Veterinary Physiotherapist
Rebecca Heald trained as a Chartered Physiotherapist at the University of Teesside, receiving a BSc Honours degree in 2002. She worked for the NHS in Darlington treating people, before completing a post graduate diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy at the Royal Veterinary College, London in 2005.
Rebecca continued to progress her career within the NHS for 17 years, as well as working as a guest lecturer for Teesside University, although her main focus was in animal rehabilitation as a member of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy (ACPAT).
Rebecca specialises in canine and small animal rehabilitation working within Bridge Referrals and from her home base near Northallerton in North Yorkshire.