Large animals

Physiotherapy helps in the prevention of injury and recovery from trauma or surgery, therefore improving the wellbeing and expanding the physical potential and quality of life of our larger animal companions.

What conditions can be treated?

  • Back, neck or pelvic pain
  • Muscle strains or tears
  • Tendon or ligament injuries
  • Nerve injuries
  • Degenerative joint conditions: OA
  • Rehabilitation following surgery
  • Compensatory problems due to underlying lameness
  • Poor performance – inconsistency, poor propulsion, one sidedness, bucking, napping
  • Maintenance of high performance in all equine disciplines
  • Return to work/performance following injury
  • Saddle related musculoskeletal problems

What does an appointment involve?

  • A physiotherapy appointment begins with a full history of the animal including details on previous and presenting conditions, medications, normal exercise regime, any veterinary diagnostics etc.
  • Static assessment – posture and conformation
  • Movement analysis- walk and trot in a straight line and circles, rein back and tight circles. A ridden or jumping assessment may be done if appropriate to the animals’ issues.
  • Palpation- spine, limbs and major muscle groups looking for any changes in temperature, swelling, muscle tone and/or pain reaction.
  • Joint range of motion is also assessed. A neurological examination is included if applicable.
  • Findings are then discussed with the owner and appropriate treatments carried out.
  • An individualised home exercise programme and any appropriate advice will also be given.

Treatments can include soft tissue massage, joint mobilisations (spinal and peripheral), electrotherapy (EMS, TENS, laser) dry needling, taping, exercise therapy (stretches and strengthening) and management advice.

What does it cost?

  • $120 per hour plus travel if applicable
  • Sessions from approximately 60 minutes
  • Areas covered include South Canterbury, North Otago and Dunedin.

Physiotherapy is covered by many pet insurance companies – if you have pet insurance, please check your policy prior to treatment to see if physiotherapy is covered.

What about other large animals?

Whilst horses, ponies and the occasional donkey make up most of the large animals seen, physiotherapy assessment and treatment techniques can be applied or adapted to any large animal!

Please note that I am not a vet, if you require specific lameness diagnostic workups or other veterinary services please consult your regular veterinarian.

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