Hi, i’m Emma Burt of Emma Burt Canine Massage Therapy.
Dogs are brilliant at many, many things. One thing they are excellent at is hiding when they are uncomfortable. This doesn’t mean they don’t feel pain. If they suffer a sudden injury they will let you know with a yelp, but they might not continue to complain even if they are still uncomfortable. Also pain can get gradually worse over time, especially when it is linked to conditions like arthritis, hip dysplasia and spondylosis. Dogs tend not to complain about this sort of pain until it gets very bad. And this means that by the time they tell you they are very sore they have probably been quite uncomfortable for some time.

What you might notice if your dog is sore?
There are lots of things you might notice, but often it is noticing what they are not doing any more or are doing more slowly that is key. It isn’t just that your dog is getting older or being uncooperative, if they have muscular or myofascial pain this will affect their mood and mobility. This then has knock on effects on the things that they do.
Some of the things to look out for include:
Have they slowed down on walks?
Are they less happy to play with you or their canine friends?
Are they jumping in or out of the car like they always did?
Are they going up and down stairs as usual?
Are they taking themselves off into a quiet corner out of the way in the evenings?
Are they reluctant to be petted or groomed?
Are they more grumpy than usual?
Do they look stiff?
Do they have a limp or are they moving unevenly?

If you have a regular dog walker, they may notice some of these things before you do because they see your dog a little less often, but also because they see lots of other dogs and can compare your dog to others in their groups.

How massage can help your dog
If you opt for Canine Massage, a Canine Massage Guild therapist will see your dog for an initial 1 to 3 sessions. Canine massage is a non-invasive, holistic, hands on therapy that involves the manipulation of the soft tissue structures of the body to prevent and alleviate pain, discomfort, muscle spasms, and reduces stress. You will see these benefits as improvements in your dog’s mood and mobility.
The whole body is treated. We do not just focus on the injured spot. Often there is referred pain from the primary area of injury to other parts of the body, the secondary areas. Secondary areas can remain an issue even after the primary area is better, so it is important that we also include these in the treatment.

What should I do if I think my dog may be uncomfy?
The very first thing to do is to make a note of the things you are noticing and refer to your vet. The vet will need to check over your dog and diagnose the issue to determine whether it is musculoskeletal in nature. Together with your vet you can discuss your dog’s suitability canine massage therapy as part of a wider treatment plan which might also include things like medications for pain relief or anti-inflammatories. If you are interested in Canine Massage Therapy for your dog, your vet will need to sign a consent form for your chosen therapist. It is illegal for any therapist to treat your dog without veterinary consent.

About Emma
Emma Burt is the owner and therapist of Emma Burt Canine Massage Therapy, based in Whiteley. She has a home clinic and also provides home visits across part of Hampshire. Emma covers Southampton to Winchester, Portsmouth to Waterlooville and all places in between, with no additional travel costs within 10 miles of Whiteley. Her website, www.EmmaBurtCanineMassage.co.uk has more information about Canine Massage Therapy, how to contact Emma to book or if you have any questions and how to download the necessary veterinary consent form.
If you are outside of Emma’s area and cannot drive to her home clinic, the Canine Massage Guild has a register of self-employed therapists who have completed the Canine Massage Therapy Centre 2 year Practitioner course and who are members of the Canine Massage Guild, like Emma. The Canine Massage Guild requires, in addition to the Practitioner course, that each Therapist completes a minimum of 25 hours Continuing Professional Development (CPD) per year, holds relevant Insurances and will only ever work with Veterinary consent: https://www.k9-massage.co.uk/find-a-therapist/.