What to Expect
*Please note that before I can treat your dog I must have a referral from your Veterinarian. See Why a Referral?
What Will You Need?
If your dog will be treated at your home you will need the following:
A quiet room with no distractions from other dogs, or people (you are allowed to stay with your pet). Your dog needs to be relaxed and focused on the treatment, so an avoidance of other dogs barking, interruptions from phone calls or outside noises is appreciated.
A blanket or soft bedding for massages and laser therapy. I do have a massage mat for added comfort, but if your dog prefers a cozy blanket or their bed then that is acceptable.
For osteoarthritis treatments, an area for exercises with with enough room for your dog to move about without bumping into furniture will be needed.
My first visit with your dog will include the following:
When I visit you and your dog for the first visit it will be for your initial consult. In this visit I generally like to ask questions about your dogs medical history, your dog's needs and the goals you have for them. I take time for your dog to get to know me and I your dog. A physical exam and gait assessment will also be completed and a discussion on treatment plan will be discussed. A home assessment will also be done at this time to determine how to help your pet maneuver around it's surroundings with greater ease.
Physical Exam and Gait Assessment
I will perform a thorough physical exam of your dog and do a gait assessment where I watch your dog as you walk it at various paces. Here I will look for any instability, how your dog positions its legs and feet and other abnormal movements that may indicate pain or decreased range of motion. An examination of your dogs joint(s) will also be performed if needed.
Massage: Once I have assessed your dog, and if massage is part of your dog's therapy, an introductory massage will be done, this will be up to 20 minutes in length. This will be performed during your initial consult for massage. This introductory massage allows your dog to get to know me and I them as well as let them get used to the touch of massage. It also allows me to feel for any differences in muscle tone, temperature, tenderness and sensitivities to touch.
Laser: If you are having laser therapy, your dog's first treatment (up to 20 min) will be during the initial consult.
Osteoarthritis Management: For Osteoarthritis management your dog will receive it's first laser treatment (under 20 min) during the initial consult. Your dog's first exercises will be done on their first therapy session after the initial consult.
It is important to remember that this is all new to your dog and I am a new person. Some dogs are relaxed right from the beginning, while others may be excited, nervous or may not want to settle. It can take time for them to get used to the treatments, so their initial therapy session may be more of a learning experience, for them and myself, on what they like or don't like. For example, if they need a chew toy to keep them occupied during treatments.
Subsequent Therapy Sessions
The frequency of treatments is dependent on each patient and their needs. These treatments are usually tapered down to maintenance sessions (based on what your dog needs) as your dog responds to treatments. If your dog does not appear to be improving within five or so treatments, a re-evaluation of your dogs treatments may need to done or a referral back to your veterinarian may be in order.
After your initial consult, or once your dog's treatments/ exercises are complete I will discuss with you my findings and areas to work on and the goals you hope to achieve with your dog. Any questions you have at this time will be discussed. A written report will be composed and emailed to your veterinarian. A findings report and treatment plan will also be emailed to you.
If home care treatments and/or exercises are to be done between therapy sessions, I will show you how to do them so that you can perform these with your dog at home.