ENHANCE HEALTH AND SHORTER RECUPERATION TIME WHEN THERE IS AN INJURY
There are many ways that therapeutic massage can increase the well-being of your equine, canine athlete, or feline friend. Massaging dilates blood vessels, allowing the blood to flow more freely, which in turn encourages the removal of waste products such as lymph and lactic acid. Massage stimulates blood circulation, and can be used to positively affect the health of animals whose activity has been curtailed due to being restricted to a stall or boarding kennel.
Furthermore, since massage encourages circulation, it increases the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues. This enhances health and results in a shorter recuperation time when there is an injury.
Lure coursing, agility, obedience, Frisbee, fly-ball, tracking, herding, and field trials are just some of the competitive activities that our canine athletes engage in. Yet it often doesn’t occur to us to attend to other athletic needs they may have. Human athletes interested in performing at their peak frequently have a massage prior to engaging in a competition.
Post-competition massages enabled me to look for any injuries that might have occurred during the competition. They can then be pointed out to the handler who can take veterinary action if it is dictated. This type of massage also promotes the removal of lactic acid which results from intense activity. If lactic acid is left in the tissues—it will pool, causing an irritation of motor-nerve endings which can develop into trigger points. These can be quite painful. Additionally, post-competition massage relaxes and calms the dog after an intense activity.
Injury Prevention & Treatment
Animal massage is particularly effective in treatment of injuries. Properly and consistently applied, it reduces the time required for soft tissue injury rehabilitation, and helps to support muscles and tissues surrounding a fracture.
Massage can also be very effective in treating swelling, muscle spasms, scar tissue, strains, sprains, torn muscles and ligaments, lameness, post-foaling difficulties, and general trauma.
In addition, massage can improve an animal's circulation and muscle tone. It is helpful in relieving pain in animals with osteoarthritis and spondylitis (inflammation of the spine) because the action of massage stimulates the brain to release proteins that are natural pain-killers. Moreover, massage helps lessen inflammation, swelling and pain in joints.