K9-rehab was founded in February 2016 by me, Mirjam Coert, after working as a vet at Clyde Vet Group for 18 years.
At K9-rehab, I use a combination of manual therapies (or physiotherapy techniques), exercises, acupuncture and laser treatment to improve mobility and control pain in dogs and cats.
These techniques are very often used together with ‘normal veterinary treatments’ like painkillers, to get an even better result.
The patients I treat have a variety of problems:
*Dogs and cats with injuries and with chronic lameness
Some animals with muscle and tendon injuries will heal quicker if I devise an exercise regime for the owner to do at home (this can be a challenge with cats). I can also help with pain (acupuncture, laser and massage), and promote normal movement (joint mobilisation and massage) and healing (acupuncture and laser). By normalising movement patterns and helping to increase muscle mass where it counts the chances of reoccurrence become a lot less.
*After orthopaedic operations
If we have an orthopaedic operation we get referred to the physio afterwards. We should now do the same for our pets, and my treatments can help with pain control and healing (acupuncture, massage and laser). Once your pet is far enough on in the healing process I can give you exercises for your pet to help with weightbearing and normal limb movement and to counteract any muscle loss. I can do that within the constraints needed for a full surgical recovery, such as cage rest.
A lot of older pets can become stiffer with age or develop arthritis. They become less able to go out for their normal walks, jump on the sofa or in the car. I can help with minimising the pain and stiffness and sometimes with gentle exercises we can improve muscle tone and set them up for a good old age. I can also give advice about the use of ramps, boots, toe-grips, harnesses and other aids to help you and your pets.
*Sports and show dogs
I work a lot with agility dogs, both to treat problems and for pre-season check-ups. Because we ask these athletes to jump their own height up to 15 times in a minute, even without visible lameness, small problems can result in refusal to jump, knocking poles or a slower speed. I also see obedience and show dogs and can help with their movement and other problems.
Although exercises can be very challenging to do with most cats, they do react very well to acupuncture and laser, a gentle massage is sometimes possible as well. Cats in pain can become bad tempered, so for me a bit of grumpiness is part of the deal. I treat cats with arthritis and after injury and orthopaedic operations.
In patients with disk lesions or nerve problems it is even more important to prevent as much as possible the loss of muscle bulk and keep the joints involved mobile while the nerves heal. Both acupuncture and laser are said to help with nerve tissue healing. Joint mobilisation can help with keeping the limbs mobile and prevent constriction, while exercises help to challenge the nerves system to start working again.
I see my patients at Clyde vet groups premises in Lanark, Wishaw and Auchenheath.
If you are wondering if rehabilitation would be suitable for your pet and would like to know more, please contact me. I can also give you an indication about how often I would like to see your pet. Sometimes one or two treatments are enough, but a lot of my oldies come regularly, anything from weekly to every 5 or 6 weeks. After injury or operation, we can start with treating your pet weekly and then once they get better extend the interval until they are healed and moving as normally as possible.
phone: 07933 998 645
Manual therapies and home exercises
I get a real buzz when I realise that with only my hands and help from the owner with exercises at home we can make such a difference to the quality of life of our pets. Rehabilitation ‘veterinary physiotherapy’ can consist of many different things. Manual therapies and home exercises are some of them.
Manual therapies are hands on techniques to treat soft tissue and joint structures to help with pain, range of movement and to reduce soft tissue inflammation.
The exercises are ones that you do with your pet at home, and sometimes they can be as simple as slowing down a walk to make sure every paw touches the ground and they don’t skip, or stopping your dog from puling so that they do not have most of their body weight on their front legs (and your shoulder). It can be a bit more challenging to get your cat to cooperate with exercises!
Acupuncture has been used for more than 3000 years on both animals and humans. It is mainly used for chronic conditions to alleviate pain. This makes it highly suitable for arthritic and chronic musculoskeletal problems, either on its own or together with mainstream veterinary treatments such as painkillers. Most dogs and cats tolerate acupuncture very well and some love it. I use acupuncture not only for lameness, but also for bladder problems, lick granulomas and I sometimes can help with behavioural problems.
The pro medic laser which I use is a class 3b therapeutic laser, that can be used without the need of goggles to protect our and our pet’s eyes. Therapeutic laser is used to treat pain, inflammation, oedema and can help with tissue and wound healing.
This means that it can be beneficial in animals with arthritis, making their joints less painful and making it easier for them to keep exercising.
Very often these animals will also have trigger points in muscles and tense muscles and these will ease nicely with laser treatment.
In tendon problems it helps against inflammation in the acute phase and speeds up healing in the chronic phase. This makes it a useful treatment for animals with biceps tendinitis.
The laser can also be used in animals with neurological problems, helping to heal damaged spine or major nerve damage by speeding up healing and getting the patients walking and using their limbs quicker.
Laser will speed up wound healing and can help routine operation wounds or bigger traumatic wounds to heal. It can also soften up scar tissue.
Mara had been limping on her right hind leg for some time. I decided that maybe some physiotherapy in addition to medication might benefit Mara. In hindsight it is funny that after her first session with Mirjam we had to push and pull Mara quite forcefully into the treatment room for her second and third session. After that however, there was no looking back. Now Mara enjoys her physiotherapy sessions so much that she gets impatient when we have to wait for Mirjam to call her in for treatment, and she lets everyone know so by barking quite highly, and dragging me through the reception area to get to Mirjam in order to jump up at her and kiss and lick repeatedly. And best of all Mara is not limping any more.
Tess receiving her treatment
Tess benefits so much from the acupuncture. After treatment her movement is much improved, and she is a lot happier. She loves Mirjam and enjoys coming for treatments, which is a good sign in itself.
Ruby out for a walk
As she got older, Ruby's rear quarters started to weaken, with poor movement and loss of muscle. The improvement with massage, laser treatment and acupuncture was really noticeable, helping to restore her gait and keep her active with the look of a much younger dog. Ruby settled into the treatment and we think she saw the benefits for herself!