Following your dog’s first treatment you will be given a personalised home recovery plan which will include clear care guidelines and post treatment exercise advice. I will also include a demonstration of suitable techniques that you can use at home to support your dog’s progress and maintain their muscle health between treatments.
Please do not feed your dog for at least an hour when you get home, as all of your dogs body systems are affected through treatment, and these need time to re-balance.
If your dog is slightly overweight, it may be an idea to look at reducing their food intake, especially if they are unable to exercise or are on a restricted exercise programme, as just a few kilos overweight can have a massive impact on the loading placed upon their joints.
The treatment your dog has received is intensive, and they may initially appear worse, this is a normal response to Canine Myotherapy. As we begin to bring your dog’s body back into balance, previously overworked muscles release and underworked muscles are stimulated and lengthened; adaptions made following injury, trauma or pain begin to alter the way your dog uses its body (the bio-mechanics).
As your dog’s muscles begin to repair and their body restores its equilibrium and natural balance you may notice:
- Increased lethargy and longer periods of sleeping
- Withdrawn or quieter behaviour
- An increase in joint, muscle pain or lameness for 48 hours
- More frequent urination and an increased thirst
Following treatment, all of your dog’s body systems will be working hard to eliminate waste products and toxins; as a cellular response is generated. Rest will be paramount in supporting your dogs body’s ability to restore homeostasis, rebalance itself and respond to the bodywork which has been performed.
You will generally see the benefits of a treatment around day four, as it takes your dogs body that length of time to adjust to the changes.
Depending on the treatment your dog has received, their response following treatment may equally be a positive one; and your dog may demonstrate a marked improvement; psychologically they may demonstrate behavioural changes, seem happier and more engaged; physiologically they may seem able to move easier, demonstrating less stiffness in previously affected areas.
Despite this initial improvement in your dog’s behaviour, discourage them from jumping on and off the furniture or in and out of the car; activities which could further damage recovering muscles.
It is important that your dog only has gentle exercise over the next 3 to 4 days, and is kept as quiet as possible. It is preferable if possible to undertake only two or three 15 minute walks a day on the lead, so as not to fatigue your dog. (Little and often as opposed to one long walk.)
Activities to encourage
One way to keep your dog stimulated during this time is to do scenting exercises. This can include things such as scatter feeding, where you scatter your dogs meal and get them to seek it out. Or hiding a favourite toy and asking them to go and find it. These exercises stimulate both their mind and body, whilst keeping exercise contained.
Activities to avoid
Try not to let your dog jump in and out of the car, as this has an impact on their forelimbs, wrists, elbows, shoulders and neck and may have a detrimental effect post treatment. Try to keep your dog as quiet as possible and not to overexcite them, this will allow the body time to heal and the necessary adjustments to take place.
Signs of change post treatment
It is really useful to have feedback on any changes in your dogs movement and behaviour. Things to look out for and this list is not exhaustive:
- Do they appear less anxious?
- Depressed or happier?
- Did they previously groan when they sat or lied down?
- Are they playing more?
- Taking an interest in other dogs?
- Have you seen any change in the way they move?
- Increase in activity levels etc?
This information is incredibly useful to measure how effective the treatment has been, for future management and ongoing care.
Techniques to apply at home.
Gentle effleurage all over the dogs body to help stimulate circulation and lymphatic drainage.
Skin rolling which can be performed over loose skin in various directions to help release any fascial restrictions and improve blood supply and drainage to the area.
Techniques carried out by yourself will not only help to reinforce the physiological effects of the treatment, but psychologically it will help your dog to become more accustomed to treatment, and will provide a positive bonding experience for you both.