Animal-Physiotherapy Registrations

Animal Physiotherapy Animal Physiotherapy





Canine physiotherapy, dog physiotherapy


Animal physiotherapy provides an excellent method of treating orthopedic conditions, neurological disorders and soft tissue injuries. Treatments include LASER, Massage, therapeutic exercises, hydrotherapy and treadmill. This holistic approach helps with:

  • Post-surgery rehabilitation
  • Over coming soft tissue injuries
  • Improve canine athletic performance

Popular  Dog Physiotherapy Treatments include:

  • Carpal Sprains

  • Cruciate Ligament

  • Elbow Dysplasia and Sprains

  • Hip Dysplasia

  • Intervertebral Disk Disease

  • ‘MOT’ Fitness Check

  • OCD (Osteochondrosis Dessicans)

  • OA (Osteoarthritis)

  • Soft Tissue Injuries

  • Weight Management






Hip dysplasia is a common canine orthopaedic condition, especially in the larger breeds and is defined as “failure of the hip joint to develop into a well seated and congruent joint”.

Conservative management using animal physiotherapy can be an option where surgery has not been recommended for your dog. For post-surgery rehabilitation, studies have shown that animal physiotherapy helps prevent issues such as excessive fibrosis and loss of range-of-movement.

Complementary treadmill based exercise programs can also provide a controlled and effective method of joint rehabilitation. As well as re-establishing a more natural gait, it also helps build muscle tone. This provides improved joint support in the longer term.


GSD Elbow dysplasia


Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injuries to the dogs’ knee (stifle) are one of the most common causes of canine hindlimb lameness. Typically this disease is degenerative, however, injuries can also be caused by traumatic incidents.

CCL problems are frequently reported in medium to large breeds with an average age between 6 – 8 years old. However breeds of any size and age can also be affected.

Animal physiotherapy aims are to improve the muscle strength of the primary stance group, namely the quadriceps and hamstrings muscles.

Improving the tone of these muscles reduces the potential for osteoarthritis. These aims are achieved by a mixture of specific dog physiotherpy based electrotherapy, treadmill walking, massage, stretching and targeted ‘weight-bearing’ exercises.

Labrador training, Labrador physiotherapy


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease characterised by chronic breakdown of cartilage in the joints.

Affecting around 20% of  dogs. OA it can be secondary to diseases such as hip / elbow dysplasia and trauma. Or it may be as a primary response to repeated impact to joints (i.e. wear and tear).

Osteoarthritis is more likely to be seen in overweight dogs as their joints are subject to more pressure.

Dog physiotherapy provides a holistic approach to osteoarthritis management utlising a combination of electrotherapy, exercise management programs, massage / stretching and joint supplements.

Boxer dog training, boxer dog physiotherapy


Canine elbow dysplasia is thought to be a polygenic, hereditary and developmental abnormal bone development disease. This causes joint incongruity which interferes with formation of the articular surfaces, resulting in friction and joint inflammation with consequential osteoarthritis. 


Where dog physiotherapy has been recommended by your veterinary it will play an integral part in the treating, rehabilitation and long term management of the elbow joint and supporting ligaments, muscles and tendons.

Every dog is different, so the actual animal physiotherapy treatment plan will be tailored to your dog and its particular condition.



Evaluating the canine gait is highly beneficial to understanding many musculoskeletal and neurologic conditions. It is an extremely important assessment in dog physiotherapy.

Gait was typically based on a visual observation of the dog. However, factors such as excitable behaviour and extremely subtle lameness, often meant issues going unnoticed.

These factors have been overcome with the GAIT4dog treadmill system It incorporates thousands of tiny sensors under the treadmill belt, which give an unparalleled amount of data which is recorded as a GLS score. The system is suitable for most dogs and can be used for dogs from 5 kilos to over 100.

Basenji training, basenji physiotherapy


A Soft tissue injury affects muscles, ligaments and tendons. These usually occur from a sprain, strain, a trauma or overuse of a particular joint or muscle. These injuries result in pain, swelling, bruising and loss of function.

Animal physiotherapy will play a key part in optimising the rehabilitation and strengthening of your dogs muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Dog agility physiotherapy, dog obedience physiotherapy,


Canine OCD (osteochondritis dissecans) is a disease which affects the cartilage in  joints of the dog. Typically affecting dogs from 4 - 8 months old, surgery is usually recommended.

Animal physiotherapy helps in the post-surgery rehabilitation, particularly to prevent atrophy of the shoulder muscles. The dog physiotherapy program will play an integral part in the rehabilitation and long term management of the shoulder joint and supporting ligaments, muscles and tendons.

Every dog is different, so the actual animal physiotherapy treatment plan will be tailored to your dog and its particular condition.

Greyhound physiotherapy


The dog’s carpal (wrist) is a complex joint designed to absorb concussive stresses. Injuries and arthritis commonly affect this joint. Drug-free physiotherapy can play an integral part in treating, rehabilitation and long term management of this area.

Carpal strains and tears and will be classed as either acute (recent) or chronic (long term). Damage can be caused by factors such as trauma and over extension. Areas particularly at risk include the carpal flexor muscles, superficial digital flexor tendon elongation, strains of the collateral ligaments, abductor pollicus longus tenosynovitis, palmar ligament hyperextension injury, and carpal bone fractures.

Bernese Mountain Dog SmartPaws


Discs can degenerate over the dog’s life resulting in their hardening and potential herniation. Severe degeneration can disrupt a dog’s fine motor skills, coordination and joint positioning sense.

Although the degeneration can be caused by trauma, most dogs will experience a progressive deterioration over a few hours to a few days.

If suspected, then you should take your dog to your veterinary immediately, speed is critical. If surgery is recommended, an animal physiotherapy rehabilitation program is proposed to aid your dog’s recovery.

Canine hydrotherapy


Athletic, show and working dogs need to be in tip-top condition to achieve their best results. Each canine discipline brings its own particular areas of stress.

For example:

  • Agility dogs ‘power’ from the rear-end, in contrast
  • Cani-cross makes extensive use of front-end muscles
  • Flyball and Greyhound dogs are subject to high stresses on their carpal (wrist) joints.
  • For show dogs even muscle tone across the whole body is a critical factor to good ring performance.
  • Similarly Gundogs use all their body to jump, run and swim in the field.
  • For Obedience reducing neck muscle tension will help prolong the dog’s top performance.

Understanding slight and early muscles strains in a service dog can help prevent expensive longer term layoffs in the future. Animal physiotherapy both optimises post-injury rehabilitation and strengthening programs.

Canine weight management


Dogs retain many of the behaviours associated with their wolf ancestors, including a feast-or-famine eating pattern. If food is available, most dogs will continue eating until they can hold no more. Unfortunately with today’s modern lifestyle this has led to many pet dogs needing to lose weight, as excessive body fat can impair vital body functions.

At SmartPaws we can design a dog physiotherapy based program to help you with your weight management program.

Typically the dog physiotherapy program has a goal to reduce fat composition to 20 – 25% (of total body weight)



Today treatment by animal physiotherapy is well known for dogs and horses, but is just as suitable for cats.  Typically cats which display pain / discomfort, difficulty in jumping up or down, abnormal behaviour / posture, lameness or muscle wastage (atrophy) can benefit from animal physiotherapy treatments.



Joint motion is a  fundamental aspect of  locomotion and may be restricted after injury, surgery, or as a response to acute or chronic conditions.

Rehabilitation exercises within an animal physiotherapy program are a proven method of aiding restoration of this movement.

At SmartPaws we offer a unique program of dog physiotherapy online rehabilitation exercises for you to follow. These have been designed by the University of the Tennessee, the world leading authority of animal physiotherapy, allowing you to take an active role in  your dog’s recuperation.



Animal physiotherapy makes extensive use of electrotherapies to optimise rehabilitation. In dog physiotherapy 2 modalties are particularly useful for home based treatments:

  • Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy - PEMF is extensively used in both conservative and post-operative canine physiotherapy treatments. It seems two factors influence this (i) they are simple to use (ii) animals have high metabolic rates and therefore tend to respond exceptionally well to PEMF treatment.
  • Electrostimulation (NMES & TENS) - works at a cellular level and can speed up the healing process. It is a proven technology for treating many common canine medical issues, such as pain reduction, muscle strengthening and reducing chronic inflammation.

You can hire or purchase a PEMF or Electrostimulation unit direct from SmartPaws to aid with your dog's animal physiotherapy program.