LAMENESS OR IRREGULAR GAIT ISSUES AND YOUR DOG
Muscular pain causes stresses on the body’s structures that have a negative effect on how the dog functions physically and psychologically. Muscular congestions and shortenings within the fibres caused through injury, compensatory or repetitive strain issues can all lead to intermittent or chronic lameness and an irregular gait.
All muscular injury takes its toll on the body, and the canine athlete or working dog is no different; all will have accumulated numerous repetitive muscle stresses and strains including ligament and tendon damage during their working life.
Whilst this is particularly the case for working and sporting dogs, the active family pet is no different; muscular issues can manifest themselves in many different ways and muscle pain in dogs is often underestimated and difficult to diagnose.
If muscluar damage is left untreated or is given insufficient time to heal, it will undoubtedly lead to secondary or compensatory issues; where the surrounding musculature works harder to maintain the dog’s balance and movement – often becoming chronic and creating more pain that the original injury. Once compensatory movements become habitual, they can be far harder to treat.
My particular area of interest lies in the rehabilitation of running dogs, lurchers and ex-racing greyhounds who’s working life may have been impaired by racing injury, repetitive muscular strain, overexertion and excessive muscle tone, all which can lead to chronic long term issues. Changes to muscle structure as a result of repetitive strain can lead to excessive muscle tone. A hypertonic muscle still functions; contracting as normal, but unable to extend to its former length, creating further strain on its attachment or adjacent muscles and frequently leading to further injury. To function optimally, a muscle has to be able to stretch fully to allow the limb to extend fully.
The use of myotherapy to support Lameness
Where an injury begins with a muscle that tightens excessively, it becomes unable to stretch fully or extend the limb comfortably. As time goes on, the dog learns to cope and chronic issues begin to develop – these effects could be minimised by regular myotherapy treatment.
Galen Myotherapy© treatment can identify muscle regions still affected by historic trauma, hypertonic muscle or scarring as a result; resolving issues which may have become chronic, enabling them to move more comfortably and freely.
Muscular injury can cause inappropriate scarring, placing added tension and stress over the joints they articulate. By identifying then treating affected muscles and muscle groups, joint function can be improved and an optimum range of movement for each situation can be achieved. This results in improved mobility, performance and a reduction in pain perception therefore reducing stress and allied symptoms.
Once your veterinary surgeon has diagnosed any underlying reason for your dog's lameness, or cannot find any obvious cause, then myotherapy treatment may be beneficial
To talk about Galen Myotherapy© and how it might help your dog, contact me here.