When I started AchyPaw all those years ago, I mainly had requests to help with dogs who were already showing symptoms from their arthritis. But this year, I’ve had more people asking me to help their young dogs or dogs newly diagnosed with arthritis. They are trying to help early rather than waiting until the disease starts to maim and lead to mobility issues. All also want to learn a daily routine that they can use in between therapy sessions.
Awareness of complementary ways to help arthritis and other mobility limiting issues is spreading.
Imagine how wonderful it must be for a dog having Massage + Owner in one place. Dogs love massage. Dogs love their owners. And now their owners are helping them with physical therapy. What a powerful treatment.
Now meet Daisy. She had pneumonia when she was only 18 months old which led to one third of a lung being removed. She is not yet 5 but after having X-rays for another problem, her vets discovered possible spondylosis and the beginning of arthritis. Her Mum said she is ‘clicky’ which sums it up perfectly and sometimes her left elbow becomes swollen which results in a slight limp.
Daisy is still young. If we can start helping to strengthen her muscles and joints, keeping them supple and healthy, we should be able to maintain her quality of life.
Two years ago, her Mum visited us at the RSPCA Open Day and took a card. When she recently found out that Daisy might have mobility issues later in life, she immediately called for a treatment and hands-on session.
Daisy wasted no time in getting down to the treatment session. She fell asleep almost before I was sitting on the floor with her. I was able to work completely on one side, before we got her up to turn her over so Mum could practice on the other side. Interestingly, that was the side where she’d had her operation scar and she was slightly more reactive. But that was good, as her Mum could learn all about taking the pressure off over sore parts. And sure enough, Daisy then let her Mum perform the full routine.
Owners + Massage = very happy content healing dog.
It’ll be a good day when all caring owners become aware of early signs of arthritis or other mobility issues in young dogs and look to help their dogs before these problems become chronic and the dog must constantly cope with their discomfort. That’s my mission for 2018.