Tricia Kennedy owns and shows Finnish Lapphunds; Nova (6), Aamu (4) and new to the tribe Keyza (1). She also has a 6 year old Swedish Lapphund, Odet, who has Hip Dysplasia. At the time of writing both Nova and Aamu had recently had puppies. The following text is provided by Tricia and is presented in her own words.
"Several months ago I decided to look into canine massage as I had noticed that all my dogs were not doing things that they used to. Both Nova and Aamu have recently had puppies and Odet was diagnosed with hip dysplasia when she was very young. They are all still young dogs; Nova and Odet are only 6½ and Aamu is just 4 years old.
So after reading articles, I thought that I could learn more by talking to a Clinical Canine Massage therapist. After looking on the Canine Massage Guild website I contacted Karen Young at Safe Hands Clinical Canine Massage.
Karen took the time to explain what massage could do for my dogs and an appointment was made for the 3 of them to visit Karen at her clinic. Karen completed free muscular health checks on them all to assess for soft tissue problems and spent time talking me through what she had found. She spent about an hour with me on that visit and gave me some vet consent forms to get completed as she said she wouldn't treat them unless her vet agreed that they were fit enough to have massage.
Karen then came to my home, as my dogs had already met her they were much more relaxed during their treatments. The day after, all three were a little subdued, but Karen had said they could be so I was not concerned. On the first treatment she released tight muscles and sorted out something called Myofascial Pain. Apparently they had been working around their aches and pains (she called it over compensating) and this meant that some muscles were being over used.
It turns out that my dogs, like most dogs, are good at hiding it when they are uncomfortable, so the first I knew was when I noticed they weren't doing things that they used to do. They were acting a bit out of sorts one day and then seem OK the next day so I didn't know.
They all had massage therapy once a week over three weeks and Karen then felt that Nova and Aamu had reached a position where maintenance massage about every 6 months or so would be good, however because Odet has her hip problems she will be uncomfortable and will need more regular support.
I noticed the difference in them all from the first session and watched as they became happier within themselves. When out walking they could run further and faster, they would twist and turn and jump logs which they had gone around before. I particularly noticed Odet was more comfortable and less grumpy around the other dogs, she was also more adventurous when out and about.
Watching Karen work her magic and how she explained what she was finding was amazing. I now know that they all had trigger points and that these often form in muscles that are under stress.
I would recommend anyone who thinks their dog is not as active or seems to be doing things differently to think about Clinical Canine Massage"
Could massage help your dog?