Pet Massage Therapy Services

Small Animal Massage Therapy in the Upper Valley

Stoney Brook Veterinary Hospital

If you have ever had the joy of a back rub or massage, you know how good it can make you feel. Your companion animal is no different! Stoney Brook Veterinary Hospital is proud to offer massage therapy services to our clients. Few veterinary hospitals in the Upper Valley region of NH and VT offer this extremely beneficial service to pets.

How massage therapy benefits your pet:

  • Enhances muscle tone
  • Improves muscle efficiency
  • Reduces joint inflammation
  • Increases blood flow to muscles
  • Eases muscle spasms
  • Increases synovial fluid in joints
  • Lengthens connective tissue
  • Improves disposition

Have you noticed any of these signs recently in your dog?

  • Reluctance to climb stairs
  • Difficulty jumping
  • Stiffness after exercise
  • Lameness
  • Difficulty rising, sitting or posturing to eliminate
  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes in behavior

Dogs that can benefit from massage therapy:

  • Geriatric - Older dogs suffer from osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease
  • Working dogs - Active dogs suffer injury more commonly
  • Overweight - Common cause of health problems
  • Athletes - Pre- and post-activity
  • Anxious - Relax and reduce stress
  • Just because - Birthdays, new adoptions, bonding time with your pet
  • Puppies - Help with handling for future grooming, veterinary and other care
  • Post injury/surgery - More information below

Massage therapy is a holistic way to help reduce and heal pain. Pains can occur suddenly, or over the course of time. Pain and inflammation are often set off by:

  • Temperature extremes
  • Continual or excessive stimulation
  • Too much flexion/extension of a muscle group
  • Prolonged contraction of muscles
  • Inadequate blood flow to an area or organ
  • Injured ligaments and tendons

The benefits of massage go beyond the physical arena. Many animals with emotional issues (depression, grief, shyness or distrust) respond well to the relaxation and positive touch of massage. Stoney Brook Veterinary Hospital is proud to treat dogs in Lebanon and Hanover, NH and the surrounding area with canine massage therapy.

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Osteoarthritis and Geriatrics

Massage is helpful for dogs coping with the signs of degenerative joint disease and/or osteoarthritis. Soft tissue manipulation can help the body recover faster after surgery or injury. For dogs carrying extra weight, massage can help to ease pains of those beginning an exercise program. Lastly, massage will help your performance and working dog patients perform better by keeping the body in optimal condition.

The statistics on osteoarthritis are startling. Twenty percent of all dogs suffer from it. After age seven, the percentage doubles. It is the number one cause of pain in dogs. Arthritis deceases mobility which can greatly affect the quality of life. In fact, loss of ambulation is one of the most common reasons for euthanasia. If your dog leads a particularly active lifestyle, developing this disease can be devastating for your best friend.

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Surgery and Rehabilitation

Using massage as part of the recovery process following an injury or surgical procedure can reduce the recovery time. Muscle atrophy can begin within the first 24 hours after an injury (such as a torn ACL). Research also demonstrates that when rehabilitation is delayed, there is increased swelling due to lack of movement. Massage stimulates healing and allows the muscle to regain strength, flexibility and elasticity.

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Performance and Working Dogs

After exercise, do you provide an active cool-down period or body rub? As with any human exercise program, a post-workout cool-down and stretch is suggested. Dogs who participate in flyball, agility or endurance events like running are more at risk for injuries than the average canine. Before and after exertion, massage can help relieve that residual tension and loosen up the tendons, preventing the muscles from staying contracted. Chronic tension can create a stress trigger point. Two common injury areas for ligaments and tendons are in the wrist and ankle areas. Sometimes, if a muscle overstretches, a spasm often results. Spasms and injuries can occur in any muscle, but there are trigger points in the body that are more commonly affected. Sometimes, instead of a spasm, muscle fibers tear and trigger inflammation. The healing process repairs connective tissue in a web like pattern that has reduced strength, flexibility and elasticity. Massage can break up these adhesions.

Please call our office at (603) 448-4448 for scheduling information.

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