Humans have enjoyed the benefits of massage for thousands of years. Just as massage therapy has a variety of health-related benefits for humans, our pets can benefit from it, too. In addition to the medical benefits of massage, it also reduces stress and improves relaxation.
Medical benefits of massage therapy for pets include:
- Decrease muscle tension, soreness, or spasm
- Relief of the chronic pain associated with arthritis, hip dysplasia, and intervertebral disc disease
- Improve circulation of blood and drainage of lymphatics
- Emotional wellbeing (calm hyperactivity or anxiousness)
Is Massage Therapy Right for My Pet?
Just like humans, our furry friends can experience tight muscles which stretch or press on nerves, ligaments, and tendons causing pain and discomfort. Some medical conditions, such as arthritis and injury, can also cause pain in joints and muscles. Although most pets can benefit from massage, there are some instances where massage should be avoided. These conditions are bleeding disorders, low blood platelet counts, or pets taking blood-thinning medications. Massage should be avoided in any areas of the body with a tumor, blood clots, fractures, open or healing wounds, skin infections, or weakened bones (from cancer).
What to Expect from Massage Therapy at MedVet
Massage therapy is designed to complement your pet’s regular medical care. Understanding your pet’s medical history and the goals of massage therapy is important. We will work with your family veterinarian, as well as the veterinary specialists, to develop an individualized plan specific to your pet’s needs and goals.
For the massage, your pet will be placed in a quiet, calm, and soothing environment. Your pet will be encouraged to lay on a soft bed or gym mat on the floor. Prior to beginning the massage, our team will review medical diagnoses and perform an evaluation through touch to locate any tense or painful areas. The massage session lasts 30 minutes. Additional time may be needed depending on the amount of muscle tension and the patient’s response to treatment.
Following the massage session, your pet may be more quiet or lethargic. This is a normal response as your pet’s body restores its natural balance and recovers following the release of impurities, toxins, and muscular imbalance. Increased joint or muscle soreness may occur for one or two days following the soft tissue work, so we recommend your pet refrains from any strenuous exercise during that time period. Subsequent massage sessions can be scheduled every one to four weeks.