More Than a Job

k9 hydrotherapy

I have loved dogs and animals all my life and have always found happiness being around them.  When I was young I dreamed of being a veterinarian and helping animals in need.  My decision to put off attending higher education after completing high school was the end of that and it wasn’t until my kids were grown that I started to focus on my own dreams again.  I knew I needed a purpose and I was searching for way that I could  still be involved in helping animals recover from injuries and give comfort to older and infirm animals.  However pursuing  a career as a veterinarian was no longer viable due to my age and the years needed to complete the required education.

Some time later, I heard about a hydrotherapy pool and the difference it was making for dogs recovering from orthopedic injuries, muscle and tendon damage and helping strengthen dogs suffering from a variety of debilitating conditions. It was like a giant light bulb lit up –  I instantly knew this was to be my PURPOSE.  I immediately contacted the owner of the pool and soon after I was volunteering regularly, learning the basics of swim therapy.  After volunteering for a number of months and learning a great deal I made the decision to pursue further education and have since become both a Certified Small Animal Massage Therapist, and Small Animal Rehabilitation Massage Therapist (Northwest School of Animal Massage) and have a diploma in canine hydrotherapy. I believe the combination of both traditional massage based therapies and water based therapies give me an extensive tool set to develop effective recovery programs for dogs.

Dogs have made a huge difference in my life and this is my way of giving back. I was lucky enough to have my wonderful dog Rhyse who lived a full happy life until he was 18 years old, very capable and active right up till the day he passed.  I also had a tripod border collie that had no idea he was missing a leg he was amazing and fit thanks to lots of hikes in the forest.  Both these dogs have inspired me to help others with their animals.

Working with your veterinarian,  I am hoping to give your dog, better quality of life through weight management, controlled exercise and massage, hydrotherapy and recovery sessions.

greyfriars-logonorthwest-logo1shake-a-paw-small

Ms. A. McDonald Dip CH, SARMT

  • Diploma in Canine Hydrotherapy from Greyfriars UK  www.greyfriarsrehab.co.uk
  • First Aid for Small Animals from Greyfriars UK.
  • Certificate in Small Animal Foundation Massage Therapy (level 1) from North West School of Animal Massage www.nwsam.com
  • Certificate in Small Animal Rehabilitation Massage Therapy (level 3) from North West School of Animal Massage www.nwsam.com
  • Walked Paws Dog Walking 101 – Business and Equipment Module And Sabrina’s link is www.shakeapaw.dog

About Canine Massage Therapy

Canine Massage Therapy being incorporated into the pool.

Massage therapy is a wonderful way to help dogs.  Hydrotherapy and massage therapy aids with circulation, relieves muscle tightness and spasms, reduces anxiety, increased oxygen to the muscles, aids in lymphatic draining, reduces pain and allows for greater range of motion.

The therapist targets affected tissues such as muscles, tendons, scar tissue and lymph nodes in injured, post-surgical and arthritic dogs aiding in the healing process and the wellbeing of the dog.   Massage may be applied in the pool to the area of injury and other areas of the dog may also need attention such as the muscles that are compensating for an injury or condition.  An example of a compensating area would be to massage the overused pectoral (chest) and cervical and thoracic muscles of the neck and shoulders of a forelimb lame dog.

Regular massage treatments bring about significant improvements particularly with pain relief, increased mobility, reduced tension and help to sedate the nervous system and release endorphins to aid healing.

Canine massage therapy is a field where certification is required as the therapist needs to be educated in knowing when there is a contradiction to massage, understanding of canine anatomy and the use of proper massage stokes and treatment.

Adding massage therapy to the pool therapy is an excellent way to compliment both treatments. Taking breaks during laps and adding in stretching & massage therapy increases the rate of recovery substantially.

 

greyfriars-logonorthwest-logo1canine massage therapy

Ms. A. McDonald Dip CH, SARMT

  • Diploma in Canine Hydrotherapy from Greyfriars UK  www.greyfriarsrehab.co.uk
  • First Aid for Small Animals from Greyfriars UK.
  • Certificate in Small Animal Foundation Massage Therapy (level 1) from North West School of Animal Massage www.nwsam.com
  • Certificate in Small Animal Rehabilitation Massage Therapy (level 3) from North West School of Animal Massage www.nwsam.com
  • Walked Paws Dog Walking 101 – Business and Equipment Module And Sabrina’s link is www.shakeapaw.dog