McTimoney animal therapy is a gentle, effective treatment that releases muscles and improves spinal range of motion. It is especially suitable for active, competing or working dogs and can help prevent physical problems related to tight muscles and loss of flexibility later in life.
McTimoney is a truly holistic approach to caring for your animals’ physical well being, each treatment is tailored to suit the individual. McTimoney Animal Practitioners try to find out what might be causing the problem in the first place, rather than treat the symptoms. During the consultation information is gathered about the animal and the owner, any previous injury, any problems it is coping or not coping with currently, and after watching how the animal moves the treatment can commence. First realigning the skeleton using the McTimoney technique, and then massaging any tightness or tension away throughout the body.
Owners can spot signs of discomfort in their dog, below is a list of things to look out for that may mean your dog would benefit from treatment, but is by no means extensive:
- Your dog may seem more timid than usual or resent being touched in a particular place, this may be a sign of discomfort somewhere in its body.
- Your dog may tire more easily than usual, especially on longer walks, or may seem less enthusiastic before walks or play less vigorously.
- Your dog may stop what it is doing and look at its leg/ back or somewhere that it has felt pain or discomfort.
- Your dog may lick or gnaw at one particular place on its body, where there are no cuts to the skin.
- Dogs that prefer to use the pacing gait, and have no breed or conformation disposition towards this way of moving, may be uncomfortable through the middle of their back, pacing prevents rotation through this area that occurs when the dog trots, pacing enables the dog the hold the middle of its back stiffer and avoid causing too much movement through the middle of the back if it is uncomfortable.
Dogs that have previously been lame will benefit from treatment once the lameness has been resolved. This is because the dog will avoid using the painful area. Once the pain has gone, the dog won’t automatically use its body as it had before it was lame. The dog will continue to use the leg it has been favouring, leading to a weakening of the muscles in the previously injured leg or body area, causing increased overuse and tension in the leg that the dog has a preference for. At first, the dog will cope with this without any problem, but over time the muscles in one leg will build up while the other loses its tone, this can lead to further tightening of adjacent muscles that attempt to stabilise and compensate for the weaker area. Pain and inflammation can follow in the overworked muscles, and cause a secondary lameness. Having your dog treated once the lameness has resolved can prevent this cycle of events from happening in the first place.
Active and Competing Dogs
When competing with your dog, whether agility, flyball, obedience, field trials or even if your dog loves jumping for a ball or playing roughly, can all put strain on the muscles, a small slip or uneven landing can lead to injury. Keeping your dog’s musculoskeletal system working at its optimum, will give him the best chance of competing at his best and help to prevent overuse injuries. Getting a check with a McTimoney Animal Practitioner can help to pick up tissue strains and sprains before they become a bigger problem. Treatment can improve quality of gait in the show dog, and gives a sense of wellbeing, which may help your dog relax in the ring.
- A reduction in performance during a competition or increased aggression or fear behaviours could be linked to pain or discomfort somewhere in the body, McTimoney animal therapy can help pinpoint where there may be a physical problem and help to resolve this.
- McTimoney therapy can be used to help rehabilitate animals after an operation or manage a chronic condition.
- Older dogs can benefit from gentle treatment to help ease compensations for aging joints and muscles. Although having your dog treated before the onset of these problems can help improve comfort on old age, and prevent age related debilitation.
McTimoney is not a cure for lameness or internal problems, where there may be a suspected underlying medical condition the practitioner will always advise the owner to seek help from a vet.
A 15 year old Border Collie was brought to me, starting to slow on his walks, he appeared to have stiffness through his joints and had become quieter than usual. His vet suggested that physical therapy might help, and his owner decided to give me a call. After treatment Jasper was feeling so well that he raced round the house, jumping on the bed, something he hasn’t been able to do for a while. Dawn said, “I can’t thank you enough for the improvement to his well-being. His walking is much better and his back isn’t hunched like it used to be. It’s taken several years off him, thanks again”.
5 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, was usually a very active dog, who loved catching her ball in the air, but had become reluctant to go up the stairs or jump in the car, even whimpering as she did so on occasion. She was given painkillers by the vet, who suggested that her mobility would continue to decline as she aged, even though x-rays had not revealed any skeletal injury or arthritis. After the initial consultation, it was clear to me, that the dog had considerably less muscle on the left hind than her right and the muscles over her back and neck were extremely tight and sore to palpate, as a consequence of this, she was using the pacing gait on her walks. After the initial treatment she seemed much brighter and no longer required the painkillers, after 3 treatments spaced over 6 months, along with rehabilitation exercises I prescribed; that were carried out by her owner; she no longer had issues climbing the stairs or jumping into the car and was back to her old self.