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Canine osteopathy

Osteopathy is a manual method, based on principals from anatomy, embryology, neurology and physiology. Due to the holistic approach, the canine osteopath looks at the complete dog. In practice this means that the canine osteopath does not look at a problem in his local context, but he considers that each structure can cause at distance another problem. So he/she reasons in cause-consequence chains. The starting points are:

  • Biological the body is one whole and all separate parts have an influence on each other.
  • Everything in the body is mobile and must be able to move easily for an optimal function.
  • The body has a self-regulating mechanism, that is being activated by osteopathy.

Cats can also be helped with osteopathy.



Dogs are also more used in sport, which increases the risk of injuries. Also strange movements, jumping and falling can cause blockage to the vertebral column.

In which kind of complaints canine osteopathy can help?

  • Limping
  • Problems in sitting, lying and standing up
  • Difficulties in jumping in and out of the car
  • Diminished condition
  • Not liked to be brushed anymore or caressed on a particular place
  • Shuffling gait
  • Digestive problems
  • Hernia problems
  • Change in behaviour without clear cause
  • ...

Osteopathic treatment on a dog

How does an osteopathic treatment on a dog take place?

After hearing the complaints, I will examine the dog manually to determine were the problem is localized. The tension and mobility of the muscles and articulations will be checked. This happens the best in a position where the dog is at ease.

The osteopathic treatment is only done by soft, manual techniques. Most dogs tolerate this very well en will relax during the treatment. But I always adapt the treatment to the dog and to what he/she is allowing me to do. The treatment consists of manipulations of the blocked vertebra's and other techniques to release the tension in the muscles and fascia (connective tissue).

How does osteopathy work?

A nerve departs from each vertebra (to the left and right). When a vertebra is blocked, the corresponding nerve gives disturbed information to the muscle and causes tension in this muscle. By relaxing the tensed muscle or set free a joint or manipulate a vertebra, the nerve stimulation is restored and the muscle can relax. The body of the dog is again able to recuperate his balance and to cure himself. The performance of the dog will become better.

What can you expect?

An osteopathic treatment will have an impact on the cause of the problem and not only on the symptoms, like for example painkillers. Therefore you may not expect an immediate result. The body of the dog needs time to recuperate and to find his balance. That’s why mostly it is recommended after treatment to give the animal some days rest. It often also happens that the dog is tired after treatment. He/she may of course go outside, but it is better not to let him do a lot of sport.

The result depends on the nature and duration of the complaint, the age and background of the dog. A second treatment can be recommended, depending on the nature of the complaints.

Under the motto “prevention is better than cure”, it would be good to check the dog twice a year by an osteopath.

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