It takes around 15 minutes for me to complete an assessment of your dogs superficial musculature. In this time I am looking for unusual changes in Texture, Tenderness, Temperature or Tone.
The assessment helps determine the health of dogs' soft tissue, pick up any injuries, pain or dysfunction and, just as importantly, identify areas which may be at risk of injury if left untreated.
During a Muscular Health Check I am looking for things such as:
Strains – a tear to the muscle caused by overstretching. Strains can be debilitating depending on how much of the muscle is affected. A strain can be REPETITIVE (caused by something your dog does time and time again) or ACUTE (a result of a direct injury/sudden trauma)
Trigger Points – Hyper-irritable bands within the muscle, commonly called ‘knots’. These cause early onset muscular fatigue (i.e. your dog is getting tired early in their walks has reduced performance), reduced range of motion, referred pain and ischemia (oxygen and nutrient deprivation to the tissue). They can be painful to touch. Look to see if you can spot what we call a ‘local twitch response’ which denotes the presence of a TrP
Wide Radiating Myofascial Pain – where a large area of fascia or connective tissue is affected causing chronic or ongoing day to day pain. Fascia is the riverbed of the body, allowing for nerve pathways and wrapping every muscle and organ individually. It should allow tissues to slide and glide over and around each other. When it becomes tight we can liken it to a human wearing a pair of trousers 2 sizes too small.
On a superficial muscular health check I do not
Assess for orthopaedic or neurological issues. Sometimes during a check an issue may arise that is orthopaedic in nature and I will advise you to go to your vet for a diagnosis. It is your vet that will assess your dog, provide a diagnosis and advise on the best treatments available.
The Muscular Health Check will determine whether massage may benefit your dog and, as I operate best practice, if I do not think your dog needs massage I will tell you.
You can book your dog in for a 15 minute appointment at my Hemel Hempstead clinic. Why not call or email to book your dog in NOW