WHAT TO EXPECT
As a member of the Canine Massage Guild, I work strictly in adherence with the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 and Exemption Order 2015. I will first ask for a consent form to be completed by you and your vet, but don’t worry - this is easily sorted out. I will work alongside your vet to ensure your dog gets the care they deserve and I will provide your vet with a written report to keep them updated on improvements.
Your dog’s initial consultation will last approximately 1½ hours, as such, it's a very good idea to allow your dog the chance to go to the toilet first. I typically start by asking you to move your dog at different paces so that I can assess their gait and posture. After this I will ask you about your dog's Medical History, Activities of Daily Living, Home Environment, Diet, Supplements and Main Areas of Concern. This is also useful for allowing your dog time to settle. I will also complete a full body palpation which helps me to identify areas of tenderness, injury, the tonicity of the muscle, its temperature and also its state.
The treatment consists of a blend of Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports Massage and Myofascial Release encompassing over 60 techniques. I also use the Lenton Method® which includes a unique set of 7 protocols involving direct Myofascial Release and is currently undergoing Clinical Trials, a first for Clinical Canine Massage. The treatment itself lasts for 40-50 minutes depending on the size of your dog. If appropriate, I may also incorporate LED Phototherapy and/or Pulsed Electromagnetic Therapy into the session. I will inform you about the Healing Crisis or ‘Herxheimer Reaction’ so that you are aware of the initial stages of recovery post-massage. Also, I will provide you with a Maintenance Sheet which is individualised to your dog and may include exercises, light massage techniques, stretches and a list of Do’s and Don’ts!
If I am treating your dog at your own home, then I will work wherever your dog is most comfortable. Whilst I treat most dogs on the floor I am also happy to treat your dog outdoors or even on the sofa. Some dogs prefer a couch so I always have a professional (human) massage couch with me. If you are bringing your dog to the clinic for treatment, feel free to bring your own piece of bedding. Your dog is of course always free to move around / take a break during a session.
Depending on what I find, I will ask to see your dog a maximum of three times initially although some dogs may only need one appointment if it is for maintenance or an ‘MOT’. Each dog is individual so I will assess your dog and converse with you on the best possible route for them which may include ongoing maintenance sessions at intervals to suit.
For your peace of mind, I want to reassure you that as Canine Massage Guild Member I work Best Practice; this means that if I find an issue of concern that massage is not suitable for, you will be referred back to your vet. If I think another therapy could be more suitable for your dog in order to attain the best results, I will discuss this with you.
Whichever way, rest assured your dog will have the correct course of action for them; as a Canine Massage Guild member I take pride in our saying which is ‘Whilst you may be paying for the treatment we are actually working for your dog’, their health is always our priority.