RBVH Therapeutic Massage: Relieving Chronic & Acute Pet Pain

Pet Therapeutic MassageRed Bank Veterinary Hospital offers therapeutic massage for patients with chronic pain and mobility issues. The use of this type of touch helps to maintain or improve both physical and emotional wellbeing in pets.

Uses for Massage Therapy

Therapeutic massage for pets is often used to support relaxation and rehabilitation or for competitive athletes and working animals. This therapy, in combination with veterinary medical care, can enhance the recovery process for many pet patients.

Massage is often used in rehabilitation from surgery or injuries, offering benefits such as the reversal of muscle atrophy and relief from muscle tension, spasms, and weakness. The release of endorphins causes a reduction in pain, especially muscle and joint discomfort, and can be a compassionate and effective therapeutic intervention for senior pets. Massage is known to provide relaxation and emotional wellbeing in pets, calming nervous, anxious, or hyperactive animals.

Behavioral Applications for Therapeutic Massage

Therapeutic massage is beneficial for nervous and anxious dogs, as well as those needing desensitization to touch and handling. Dogs receive a full body massage, with emphasis on encouraging calmer or more relaxed postures and behavior.

This behavior therapy can be combined with behavior modification and desensitization work with Dr. Kroll and is offered as a drop-off service.

Effects of Massage Therapy

Research conducted as early as the 19th century document positive effects for animal patients, including:

  • Endorphin release
  • Relaxation and tension relief
  • Reduced stiffness
  • Improved mobility
  • Increased circulation and toxin excretion
  • Improved balance and posture

Increased range of motion and enhanced muscle tone through massage can help prevent further injuries, improving performance and endurance for pet athletes. The release of endorphins that inhibits the pain response enhances mental focus and attitude for these animals. In addition, massage promotes a healthy skin and coat by aiding the distribution of natural oils in the skin.

Pet Massage Techniques

Seven main techniques are used in pet massage therapy: compression, direct pressure, effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapotement, and vibration movement.

  1. Compression—Spreads muscle fibers and increases circulation
  2. Direct pressure—Relieves hypertonia and increases circulation
  3. Effleurage—Relieves fatigue or soothes the animal with a gliding stroke
  4. Petrissage—Stimulates nerve endings and helps dispel fluids and waste by kneading or rolling
  5. Friction—Creates heat by compressing deep layers of tissue to free deposits of waste and stimulate tendons and ligaments
  6. Tapotement—Relieves muscle atrophy through percussive touch
  7. Vibration movement—Loosens tissue and joints

To inquire about therapeutic massage for your pet, contact our hospital.