“I don’t know if physio for animals is more common in Sweden than in other countries in Europe, but it is a growing market for sure”, says Lena Weber from Halmstad Hundrehab in Sweden. “Hundrehab” means ”Dogs Rehabilitation”.
Weber gets her clients via referrals from different animal vet clinics and hospitals. The importance of good physio, post-op for example, is getting more and more attention.
Dog owners with active or competing dogs are also aware of the importance of having a good physio for check-ups, advice in correct exercise, and more.
“They want that their dogs to be as well-prepared for their skills as possible and to avoid injuries”, Weber says. “We work with how the dog moves, different gaits and exercises to stimulate a correct gait and for neuromuscular functions”, Lena Weber says.
A good education is necessary
Lena Weber says that when you start to work with rehab on animals as a physio, it is important to have a good education.
“In Sweden, you can take the University courses for physiotherapist on humans and go on with courses for animals to get your approval.”
There are also some other courses you can take in distance-learning, but these don’t make it possible to be approved in veterinary medicine and to be a part of the so-called Animals Health and Medicine care.
Lena Weber herself is a Chartered Physiotherapist educated for humans since 2004, and since 2012 she has been approved to work within the Animals Health and Medicine care. She has been working with animals since 2009. At the time, she still worked with humans as well.
“But the last five years I have worked full-time with animals. And today I work only with small animals like dogs and one and another cat come as well”, she says.
Main purpose is to regain function
In Halmstad Hundrehab, Weber works with different kinds of exercises. The main thing is to regain function: normalise function and movement, muscle strength, stability, core strength, coordination, and balance.
“We use balance equipment like balls, cavaletti, passive and active exercises. We have also an underwater treadmill”, Lena Weber says.
She meets with healthy competing dogs that come for check-ups, as well as the companion dogs with muscle soreness or muscle injuries. She also meets post-op dogs, too.
The typical patient can have, for example, cruisate ligament injuries, back issues like degenerative disc disease, elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, and so on. Also, overweight dogs and dogs with arthrosis.
“Let’s say I see all different kinds of issues that a dog can have. Of course, some are more common than others.”
Lena Weber uses orthopaedic manual therapy, acupuncture, TNS, NMES, massage, stretching, shock wave therapy and laser for dogs. She also has an underwater treadmill.
“It works super”
Lena Weber says that Provet Cloud was the best option at the time she was searching. She got a tip from a person about it.
“The price was good for my small clinic. It works super and you get very good support when needed.”