Archive for the ‘Canine’ Category

4 simple palpation skills that will serve you for a lifetime

Is your animal sore? Is he uncomfortable?

What is the best way to know how your animal is doing?

Learn 4 simple palpation skills that will serve you for a lifetime!

Developing some simple palpation skills will help you feel for any abnormal changes on your animal body. The palms of your hands and your fingertips will give you accurate feedback on the physiological state of the various parts you are working on. You must concentrate so as to detect subtle changes in the body on which you are working. The quality of your feedback depends strongly on the sensitivity of your hands.

A good way to develop your perceptions is to work with your eyes closed. This will help you focus on your fingertips, developing your tactility and enhancing your touch.

On a daily basis, use a light touch to go quickly over your animal entire body and look for the following:

First: Any variations in temperature, especially the increase in heat that is associated with an inflammatory process in the soft tissue such as muscle strain or ligament sprain, even possible joint arthritis.

Second: Any modification in the texture of the coat such as puffiness due to swelling is another sure sign of inflammation. The swelling is cause by the extra lymphatic fluid involved in the natural healing process.

Third: Any reaction of your animal to your light touch is another other give away sign. If he/she reacts with a stressful look or move away during your palpation that is also a sign of soreness.

Fourth: Any changes in muscle tone, meaning the elasticity of the muscle fibers. As you become acquainted to touching your animal muscle groups, develop a sense for his/hers muscle tone. Any abnormal hardening of the muscle fibers is revealing of muscular compensation and possibly the presence of trigger points or even stress points.

Be careful when dealing with what appears to be an abnormal situation. When in doubt, contact your veterinarian.

If you are interest in developing your palpation skills, click here read the article on Canine Massage Simplified, or here for Equine Massage Simplified located on the Animal Awareness site.

For visual guidance on developing your palpation skills, click here for dogs or here for horses.

This video include a demonstration of the laying of hands approach. Use it as it will often help to sooth a sore area. Hydrotherapy, the application of heat or cold modalities (dog or horse) also will relieve the inflammation and pain considerably, assisting recovery and definitively comforting your animal.

I hope you enjoyed this article and found the information useful.  My goal is help you provide quality home care for the benefit of your animal.

Please visit the FREE library of articles (dog articles / horse articles) that address important aspects of how you can actively contribute to your animal’s wellness and fitness.

Is your dog aging well?

Is your dog aging well? Is he uncomfortable?

Learn how to recognize 5 main early aging signs!

Get involved in caring for your dog with a home care health program!

“When time flies, this is a sure sign of aging” my father use to say! Today, I recognize those wise words as so true, unfortunately! But you are never too busy for the one you love.

Most dogs stay very young at heart, always ready to go for a walk, or to play or to “sniff out any good smelling stuff”. However, with his/her age progress, you can play an important role in keeping your dog healthy longer. Here are 5 important signs that occur in your animal you need to know about so you can take early action to remedy each one.

  1. Decreased activity. As your dog age, his metabolic rate slows resulting in less activity. Furthermore, the ware-and-tear of the musculoskeletal system leads to various grade of inflammation in the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints causing body aches and possibly arthritis. Action: Regular light massage rubs will maintain good blood flow to the various body parts and will assist the dog’s natural healing faculties. Also, proper gentle stretching will maintain optimal flexibility in his joints.
  2. Weight gain. Another side effect of the slowing metabolic rate is weight gain. Your elderly dog requires 30 to 40 percent fewer calories. So if you simply keep him eating a normal maintenance diet, often it results in obesity. Action: Regular exercises, as much as he can do, will help burn some of those calories. Consult your veterinarian for advice on your dog’s diet.
  3. Loss of hearing. Very much like humans, the specialized tissues and nerve cells that compose the hearing apparatus of the dog degenerate with aging, resulting in a slow loss of hearing. Action: Regular massage and stretching of your dog hears can stimulate those nerve cells and somewhat slow down the degenerative process and maintain his hearing.
  4. Loss of vision. Often in elderly dog, the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, a condition known as “Lenticular Sclerosis”. However, this natural change does not cause significant vision loss. Possible cataracts may develop, which do interfere with vision! Action: Have your veterinarian check your dog eyes as soon as you notice the cloudiness. Early detection can delay this natural degenerative process.
  5. Infections. With age, the dog’s natural immune system weakens, rendering him/her more prone to infection. Action: With any infection, consult your veterinarian immediately for proper diagnosis and advice on the proper course of action.

A home care health program, with regular application of light massage, gentle stretching and some hydrotherapy modalities when applicable, can make a huge difference in the quality of life of your aging animal. It will seriously increase your dog’s chance of living better and longer.

Get involved and participate directly to your animal wellbeing! Your daily application of massage, stretching and hydrotherapy will greatly contribute to your dog health and well being, and optimize his chance for a longer and fuller life.

Furthermore, your palpation skills will allow you to detect any abnormalities and symptoms of inflammation much earlier than by sight, allowing you to take immediate action. Also, this daily home care will strengthen your relationship with your dog and he will love you for it.

Visit my Animal Awareness site where you will find a free library of articles regarding relevant condition that all animals face.  My goal is help you provide quality home care for the benefit of your animal.  You can also apply for a private consultation with me to develop the best home care for your animal.


Learn to evaluate the muscular compensation in your dog

Is your dog crooked?

Is he compensating?

Is he uncomfortable?

Learn how to recognize compensatory patterns in your dog!

When the dog feels discomfort or pain, automatically he develops muscular compensation in order to avoid that problem and to maintain optimal performance. Much like a human does!

If you are interested in better understanding what helm you dog, please read my book Canine Muscular Compensation, published by Massage awareness Inc.

This book teaches you how to recognize the various signs of muscular compensation. It is a great self-educating book that will assist you in maintaining your dog fitness level at its best.

This “Canine Muscular Compensation Study Manual” is the most complete book on the subject and contains information you cannot find anywhere else! You will learn about:

  • The basics of the canine myofascial system.
  • The basics of canine kinesiology, the study of movements.
  • The basic gaits of the dog.
  • The external lines of compensation with the diagonal, transverse and sidelines of compensation.
  • The internal line of compensation and their influence on the dog’s center of gravity.
  • Detailed information on each individual muscles and its role when in compensatory mode.
  • Precious information on common problems and their compensation pattern.

Whether amateur or professional, this book will develop your skills and confidence in evaluating the canine muscualr compensation phenomenon. It will contribute to your overall horsemanship expertise. The knowledge gained from this manual will improve your understanding of the dog overall balance at any gait. This in turn will definitely improve the quality of your training as well as your massage application and its lasting benefits.

Early detection of myofascial compensation in your dog helps you get the most of your animal’s well being, as well as saving on recovery time, not to mention money. I know this book will serve you well.