top of page

Canine Physiotherapy

Canine physiotherapy can be used to support recovery from injury, treat musculoskeletal and neurological issues and promote wellbeing in older dogs and those with poor breed conformation. We use a combination of manual, ‘hands on’ treatment, stretches, exercises and electrotherapies to ensure our patients can live their best life.


Who is canine physiotherapy for?

We believe all dogs deserve to live a life free from pain and discomfort, whether they are a working dog, sporting companion or beloved sofa-dwelling pet! If your dog has suffered an injury or is in pain due to a musculoskeletal or neurological issue, physiotherapy will support their healing and recovery. For sporting and working canines, targeted physiotherapy can help to prevent injury occurring and boost performance, ensuring optimum joint range of motion and muscle tone.


We also offer maintenance programmes for elderly dogs who may be suffering from arthritis and other age-related joint issues. This includes weight control management, therapeutic exercises and non-pharmaceutical pain relief to keep them happy and mobile for as long as possible. 

Physiotherapy can be beneficial in treating or supporting a range of canine issues, conditions and negative behaviours including:

  • Arthritis

  • Elbow and hip dysplasia

  • Cruciate ligament rupture

  • Fracture repair

  • Wound healing and repair

  • Neurological issues such as IVDD and FCE

  • Reduced sports or working performance

  • Altered behaviour, such as sudden aggression or depression

  • Pre-and post-operative rehabilitation

  • Stiffness while walking or rising from bed

  • Reluctance to go up/down stairs or sofa


Got a question?

We're here to help. If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment, please get in touch.

What treatments and tools are used in canine physio sessions? 

Canine physiotherapy mainly consists of massage, stretching and exercises designed to support proper muscle tone and function and ensure normal joint mobility. We also use electrotherapies, such as laser treatment, where needed to support the healing of injuries and connective tissue.


Massage and manual therapies will be used in every physiotherapy session that Olivia carries out. It is a therapeutic technique which is invaluable for relieving muscle tension, improving circulation and relaxing the animal so they can fully benefit from the session.


Targeted static and dynamic stretching are used to loosen tight muscles, helping to restore correct function to muscle groups and joints. Stretching improves flexibility, boosts circulation and can reduce the risk of future trauma or inflammation.


These are exercises that your dog will be asked to carry out during a session, with the aim of recruiting certain muscle groups and helping to improve strength and balance. This may include walking over poles or using unstable equipment designed to isolate and target some physical issues or muscle weaknesses.


Quick, painless and non-invasive, laser can achieve excellent results, particularly in pain-relief, wound healing and soft-tissue repair, both acute or chronic. Laser therapy has been extensively researched and has very few contraindications. At Three Shires Vet Physio, we use the Omega Class 3B Laser. These lasers are successfully used in the treatment of a wide range of conditions including:

  • Supporting the wound healing process.

  • Decreasing scar tissue and preventing its formation.

  • Pain relief.

  • Treating nerve damage.

  • Reducing inflammation.

  • Managing joint stiffness.

  • Treating muscle spasms.


Owners will normally be set a home exercise programme to carry out in between physio sessions and sometimes on an ongoing basis. The exercises will support the recovering of the dog and can help speed up the process. 

What to expect before, during and after a canine physio session 

  • The process begins with a telephone call to chat about your dog and discuss the goals of the physiotherapy treatment - are they injured, recovering from surgery, stiff or in great shape?

  • Olivia will then seek a referral from your vet if it’s needed.

  • During the session itself, Olivia will watch your dog walk and trot in a straight line to assess their movement. She will then assess them standing still to judge their muscle symmetry and conformation. Olivia will then palpate them and gently manipulate limbs to determine the areas of treatment.

  • Treatment will consist mainly of manual therapies, with electrotherapies being used when deemed necessary. Olivia will then do some exercises with your dog, working on their areas of weakness.

  • You will be set exercises as homework  to do in between treatments as well as being advised of management changes that will benefit your dog. These form a vital part of the physio and can speed up your dog’s recovery time.

  • We ask that you ensure that your dog takes it easy the day after it has had physio treatment - no chasing rabbits or squirrels! 

* Please make sure there is appropriate space in your home for the physiotherapy session to take place and that your dog is clean and dry when Olivia arrives *

bottom of page