Osteopathy is growing in popularity as a safe effective treatment for animals. Based on the same principles used in the treatment of humans, horses and dogs can be treated safely and effectively using Osteopathic techniques specifically developed and modified for animals.
Just as humans suffer from musculo-skeletal strains and stresses, so do our four legged friends. This is especially true for horses with the added pressure of having a rider sat onboard. Usually the owner will notice some problem with the horse or dogs movement or behaviour. Armed with a thorough knowledge of the animals anatomy, physiology, and common ailments the osteopath will observe, looking for asymmetry, inflexibility, or unbalances which could be contributing to the problem.
Common animal conditions and problems Osteopathy can help with include:
- Gait Problems- Short striding, cross-canter, tracking-up
- Reluctance to canter or trot on certain reins
- Problems with head carriage, head tossing
- Behaviour changes
- Reduced performance
- Cold backing
- Injury Rehabilitation
After the initial assessment the treatment involves a wide variety of techniques including using specific exercises to redress any imbalances. Advice will be given with regards need for rest, specific exercises and type of exercise needed before the horse or dog should return to normal performance. Often imbalances seen in a horse can be manifestations of problems with the rider. The Osteopath combines their human osteopathic knowledge and skills alongside their equine skills to assess what will be the most effective treatment for each individual animal.