Physio for all species
Physiotherapy is not reserved just for humans, horses and dogs. Any animal can benefit from physiotherapy assessment and management.
Independent by nature, cats can sometimes be a more challenging patient for the physiotherapist, but none the less can benefit from physiotherapy just like other pets. With such an inquisitive nature, hunting instinct and athletic ability, the cat can often find itself in sticky situations which lead to injuries. Cats are frequently injured in fights, road traffic accidents or falls. Animal physiotherapy plays a vital role in their rehabilitation following serious injury including spinal injuries, limb fracture, neurological injury or limb amputation. In addition, as cats get older, their mobility can deteriorate, making it more difficult for them to negotiate stairs or jump up onto furniture in the home, and can even have a negative impact on the cat’s ability to maintain personal hygiene. Animal physiotherapy can be invaluable in the management of the elderly cat, providing pain relief as well as maintaining strength, mobility and independence. Your physiotherapist will show your ways to encourage your cat to co-operate in as well as learn to enjoy their physiotherapy sessions and home exercise routine.
Horses are not the only herbivores who respond well to physiotherapy. Lame sheep and cows can both be successfully managed by your physiotherapist, working in conjunction with your veterinarian. Lameness in cows has been shown to reduce milk yield, leading to financial consequences for the farmer. A “downer cow” is typically defined as a cow that’s unable to stand and often happens in cows during late pregnancy, after recent calving or due to illness. Complex to manage and requiring diligent nursing care to prevent secondary complications associated with such a large animal being recumbent, pressure injuries commonly occur. Once the primary reason for the cow being recumbent has been diagnosed and a management plan set up by the treating veterinarian, the physiotherapist can get involved and guide and facilitate the rehabilitation process.
Wildlife are another group of animals who can also benefit from physiotherapy. From koalas to cheetahs, sugar gliders to birds - wildlife rescuers and carers of exotic animals in zoos often have a rehabilitation ‘challenge’ on their hands when dealing with an injured wild or exotic animal. The aim of physiotherapy in this setting is to work closely with both the treating veterinarian as well as the animal carer, in facilitating implementation of rehabilitation principles appropriate to the species in question. For wildlife, the goal is often to facilitate release of the animal back into the wild. Contact your local Animal Physiotherapist to see how they can help you and your unique situation.