As dogs age they tend to slow down and lose some muscle mass, balance and coordination just like us. They then find it harder to exercise and can put on weight. Increased weight aggravates any joint problems such as arthritis and also cardiac and respiratory problems making exercise harder and further reducing mobility. These changes often creep up gradually and often owners do not recognise how much their dog is struggling or that they are in pain*. It’s easy to get into a downward spiral of decreasing capabilities which can ultimately lead to a reduced lifespan.
Physiotherapy, alongside appropriate veterinary management, can help prevent or delay this downward spiral keeping your dog as active and healthy as possible into their senior years. Simple lifestyle modifications and an individualised physiotherapy programme will maintain mobility and fitness, reduce joint pain and control weight adding life to years and years to life.
*Due to survival instincts animals are experts at concealing pain. They tend to compensate by subtly changing the way they hold themselves and move, carrying on as best they can but putting strain elsewhere. Sometimes it is only when the compensation strategies run out that we notice something is wrong. Other tell-tale signs include behavioural and mood changes, being reluctant to go on walks, nervous or aggressive, or perhaps sleeping more than usual.