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Chiropractic and massage for gundogs

Our blog this month comes from our guest writer, Nika Vorster. Nika has a Masters in Animal Chiropractic, a Diploma in Animal Deep Tissue Sports Massage, as well as a degree in Equine Sports Science with Psychology.

Springer Spaniel stood in snow

The use of therapies like chiropractic and massage is commonly associated with an injury, however, did you know that routine assessment and treatments can optimise health, performance and improve recovery.

The athletic demands of being a gundog whether it be for service, hunting or companionship requires a high level of energy, focus and peak physical condition. A good retriever will return each shot bird or animal to their handler quickly and in good condition. Due to the nature of the discipline, the common compensations I find are subtle skeletal asymmetries with associated muscle tension, in particular through the pelvis, neck and shoulders. These subtle mechanical restrictions, if left unchecked can manifest into chronic biomechanical dysfunctions and increases the chance of injury.

Gundogs are highly intelligent, full of energy and therefore run on adrenaline most of the time compared to other dogs, this positive trait makes them the best at their job, however, can easily mask if there are any areas in the body that are weak or in discomfort. Routine postural assessment with chiropractic and massage can help identify and treat these subtle restrictions, encouraging the body to heal and increasing the overall welfare of your dog.

Another key component to being a gundog is their incredible sense of smell. Chiropractic focuses on optimizing spinal alignment, which releases the pressure on trapped nerves allowing optimal spinal nerve function. The assessment and treatment per dog is individual and uses a hands on non- invasive process. Ensuring that the spine is in full alignment will improve the mobility of your dog and therefore their performance and welfare.

For more information on the benefits of chiropractic and massage for your dog please contact Nika on or complete the form below

You can also visit her website

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