Exercise Prescription

 

Exercise prescription is often used alongside other physiotherapist techniques to aid with rehabilitation or to ensure your animal is performing at its best. It is often possible for owners to continue with home exercise programs depending on the frequency of the exercises required.

Exercise programs may include:

  • Core stability exercises

  • Muscle strengthening exercises

  • Proprioception and coordination exercises

  • Schooling advice

  • Baited stretches

  • Re-education of correct gait

  • Specialist performance animal prescription (dependant on discipline)

Dogs and horses both benefit from exercise prescription, with similar techniques being used and adapted between the species. Repetition of exercise on a regular basis is essential for reinforcing correct gait and posture. Neurological cases especially improve their proprioceptive capability by introducing different surfaces during rehabilitation, such as grass, water or gravel.

Techniques used:

  • Lunging, with or without specialist schooling equipment for the horse e.g. restrictive bands

  • Raised Poles

  • Ground Poles

  • Gymnasium exercises

  • Baited Stretches

  • Wobble Cushions and physio balls for dogs

  • Surface variability for increased proprioception

  • Hydrotherapy techniques

Weight Loss Programs

 

Excess weight and body mass on our animals can often predispose them to various health issues. Overweight animals are a lot more likely to develop degenerative diseases such as arthritis, or be predisposed to conditions such as cranial cruciate ligament rupture. Excess joint loading through weight can result in a multitude of secondary issues ranging anywhere from gait alterations and reduced stamina to more serious, potential surgical cases.

 

If you are concerned about your pets weight there are a variety of different weight loss programs that can be tailor made to support a gradual weight loss and rehabilitation for your animal. It is important to remember that not all weight gain is caused by overeating and that other factors such as hormonal changes or disease are not leading to the weight gain. Any concerns about your animal’s general fitness should always be discussed with your veterinarian prior to the start of your exercise program.

 

If you are a dog owner, feel free to browse through my information on nutrition and dietetics.

© Alexandra Martin and amartinvetphysio 2019