Can a Vet Physiotherapist Help a Horse After Injury?

As a responsible horse owner, you are constantly checking their overall physical health and on the lookout for any injury, which left untreated, could have severe consequences.

And if your horse does unfortunately become injured, the Vet will more than likely put them on ‘box rest’ for anywhere between 4 – 8 weeks.

Occasionally box rest can be up to a period of 12 weeks, which is a long time for a creature that is nomadic by nature and needs to be moving around, to be confined to a stable.

So, what can be done to help your horse if they become physically impaired? And can a Vet Physiotherapist help a horse after injury?

The answer to that question is most certainly yes, a Vet Physio can help a horse after they become injured and in this week’s blog we are going to explain how in more detail.

Read on here to find out more!

Different Types of Injury in a Horse where Physiotherapy can Help.

Horses can become injured in a number of ways. They could suffer a slip or fall in a muddy field, or if you compete with your horse, they can easily be injured for example at a mis-judged jump in the ring.

These accidents can often result in fractures or injuries of the lower limb or below the hock. This is known as the Distal Limb, which in total consists of 9 bones, each one playing a vital part in movement and stability for your horse.

Other injuries that a horse can suffer include superficial ligament or tendon injuries, muscular strains and tears, or injury to their backs and shoulders.

Similarly, if your horse is getting older, they can become arthritic and suffer from stiffness of joints or muscle and which could cause them to be in unnecessary pain.

And, being confined to box rest can cause your horse to suffer muscle tension or limb swelling and lose tone and strength. All of which could cause your horse to suffer emotional distress, and could trigger further compensatory issues through weight shifting over a sustained period of being confined.

Any bone, tendon or muscle injury to your horse can potentially result in lameness, so it’s really important to get the injury checked out straight away and follow the guidelines of your regular equine Veterinary Surgeon.

In the instance of box rest, a Veterinary Surgeon will often refer the owner of an injured horse to a Vet Physiotherapist.

A Vet Physiotherapist can help with the rehabilitation of your horse following injury or surgery through a program of physiotherapy following consultation.

Moreover, a qualified and registered Vet Physio can only practice physiotherapy on the referral of a Veterinary Surgeon, so you can rest assured that any Vet Physio has gone through intensive training and will have the correct qualifications to treat your horse.

How Can Physiotherapy Help My Horse After Injury?

There are a number of ways in which a Vet Physiotherapist can help your horse with rehabilitation after injury.

In the same way a physiotherapist would work with a human patient, a Vet Physiotherapist will gently examine your horse and discuss with you the nature of the injury, before putting together a specific treatment program tailormade for your equine best friend.

This could involve massaging the affected muscle or joint whilst the horse is on box rest or assisting with stretching exercises. Both these simple but incredibly effective practices can help with preventing stiffness, loosening the muscles, and helping blood flow and circulation.

In addition, a Vet Physio can offer services such as pulsed magnetic therapy which scientific evidence suggests can accelerate fracture healing in a horse.

There’s also the practice of laser therapy which can be administered by a Vet Physio. This treatment method is good for pain relief and healing tendon injuries in particular.

For specific loading force treatment of rehabilitation following injury or surgery, a Vet Physio can create a program to suit your horse.

This may start off with 10 minutes walking on either of hard or soft ground, flat surfaces, or gentle inclines, and include pole work.

The treatment can progress up to 60 minutes or more, depending on what the Vet Physio recommends and treatments such as hydrotherapy or an underwater treadmill are also options to improve your horse’s physical and emotional well-being.

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So, as you can see there are lots of ways in which a Vet Physio can help you to care for the health and wellbeing of your horse.

And just like you would work with your vet or farrier, a Vet Physiotherapist will come to your stable or yard and work around you and the needs of your horse.

If you would like more information about how a Vet Physio can help your horse after injury, or you would like to know how to get a referral then contact us here or call Tilly on 07568 309 221.

We will discuss all of your equine physiotherapy needs and work out a treatment programme that will have them back to their healthy best.

And when the time is right, you will be able to see them out from their stable a happy and contented horse

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