Dogs with spondylosis need a regular massage to help keep their muscles loose and relieve pain. This can be a difficult task, but with the proper technique, it can be easy and beneficial for both you and your dog.
In this guide, I will teach you how to massage your dog with spondylosis using simple techniques that will help improve their quality of life.
What Is Canine Spondylosis
Canine Spondylosis is a degenerative disease of the spine that is common in older dogs. It occurs when the vertebrae and discs in the spine start to break down and deteriorate. This can cause pain and stiffness in the back and neck and may make it difficult for your dog to move around.
The good news is that spondylosis is not usually a life-threatening condition, and there are ways to help your dog manage the pain and keep them comfortable. If you think your dog may be showing signs of spondylosis, talk to your veterinarian about treatment options. With proper care, your dog can still enjoy a good quality of life despite this condition.
There are several different treatment options available for canine spondylosis. Your veterinarian will be able to discuss the best option for your dog, depending on the severity of their condition. Treatment options include:
- Massage: There are many benefits to massage therapy, and canine spondylosis is no exception. Massage can help increase blood circulation, improve range of motion, and reduce inflammation. It can also help to release endorphins, which can help your dog feel better both physically and mentally.
- Weight management: Keeping your dog at a healthy weight can help reduce the amount of stress on their spine and joints.
- Exercise: Gentle exercise can help keep your dog’s muscles and joints strong and flexible.
- Pain medication: There are several different types of pain medication that can be used to relieve pain associated with spondylosis.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct deformities or remove damaged disks in the spine. This is usually only done as a last resort when other treatments don’t work.
How To Massage a Dog With Spondylosis
Although spondylosis is a degenerative disease, there are treatments available to help your dog feel better. One of these treatments is massage. Massage can help increase circulation, relieve pain, and improve range of motion.
Massaging a dog with spondylosis can be really beneficial as it can relieve the pain and stiffness in the spine. Dogs with spondylosis are constantly in pain. So, giving your dog a massage will help it feel better, at least for a short period of time. Here is how to massage a dog with spondylosis:
1. Make your dog feel comfortable
Massaging a dog with spondylosis might not be easy at the beginning. Your dog might be in so much pain that it won’t let you massage it. So, it is important that you make your pup as comfortable as possible.
One way to help your dog feel more comfortable during a massage is to ensure that they are calm before starting. You can do this by spending some time petting them and letting them get used to your touch. Once they seem relaxed, you can begin the massage.
If at any point during the massage your dog becomes agitated, take a break and try again later. With patience and practice, you and your dog will be enjoying massages in no time!
2. Locate your dog’s spine
To find your dog’s spine, start by feeling along the top of its back. You should be able to feel a row of bumps running down the center of their back. These bumps are called vertebrae, and they make up your dog’s spine.
Once you’ve found the vertebrae, you can locate your dog’s spine by following it down to its tail. The spinal cord runs through the center of the vertebrae, so if you trace it all the way down, you’ll find your dog’s spine.
The dog’s spine does not continue into the tail. The tail is actually made up of a series of bones called vertebrae that are connected to the dog’s spine. However, there is a small piece of cartilage at the end of the dog’s spine that gives the tail its flexibility.
3. Press – pull – release technique
The press-pull-release is probably one of the best techniques to use when massaging a dog with spondylosis. This basic technique is used to release the tight tissue that is compressing a joint. Most of the joint problems in dogs are the shortening and tightening of tissue around a joint that compressed the joint and causes pain.
Using one hand, you will be pressing, then pulling, and then releasing spots on your dog’s spine. As you massage, pay attention to any areas that seem particularly tight or sore – these areas will likely benefit from extra attention.
4. Start from the head
Once you get your dog in a comfortable state, it is time to start the massage. Warm-up your hands by rubbing them together for a few seconds. Once your hands are warm, begin massaging your dog’s spine using the press-pull-release technique.
If you have an X-ray of your dog and you know the exact location of the degenerative discs on the back, it can help a lot. Knowing where to give that extra attention is great. However, make sure that you also do the whole spine, from the head to the tail.
As you are massaging different areas of the spine, you will feel a difference. Healthy tissue is supple, whereas unhealthy tissue is a little more ropey. But, don’t worry. As you do this massage every day, you will feel that those areas are becoming more flexible as you press pull and release.
5. Massage your dog every day
Massaging your dog every day is very important. However, in the beginning, do not despair if your dog doesn’t enjoy the massage. Start with one to two-minute massages and then slowly increase the duration of the massage. Your dog will quickly learn that after the massage, there is no more pain in the spine than what was a one-minute massage can easily turn into a thirty-minute session.