Canine Osteopathy

Whether you are an individual dog owner or a professional breeder, animal osteopathy can provide assistance and relief for the animal through specific manual manipulations. So what is canine osteopathy? Who can practice it and under what circumstances would one consult a canine osteopath? Here we answer such questions.


Definition of Canine Osteopathy

A canine osteopath is a practitioner who has undergone a training course in animal osteopathy. This alternative manual medicine can be for curative, preventative or complementary use. By observing and palpating the painful area in the dog, a canine osteopathy can diagnose the somatic dysfunction or injury. Depending on the diagnosis, the practitioner uses light manipulation to allow the animal to regain good mobility. The tension that’s causing the discomfort or pain is released. A canine osteopath uses their hands to relieve and treat health problems affecting joints, muscles or organs.


When to Consult an Osteopath for Dogs?

The animal osteopathy profession is currently booming and there are many job prospects on offer as an increasing number of dog owners and breeders are turning to this alternative medicine. There are many reasons why dog owners may want to consult a canine osteopath. Canine osteopathy can be useful in the following cases:

  • To treat stiff joints or lameness.
  • In the case of certain metabolic disorders.
  • In the event of digestive disorders (vomiting, diarrhea, etc.).
  • To relieve skin problems (allergies, etc.).
  • In case of difficulties related to reproduction.
  • In cases of growth disorders.
  • And also for certain behavioral disorders (anxiety, aggressiveness, etc.).

It is important to note that canine osteopathy can also be used as a preventive measure. This is particularly relevant for sporting or working dogs. Canine osteopathy is suitable for all dog breeds, puppies and ages, from young through to senior dogs.


Canine osteopathy: How does a Consultation Unfold? 

A canine osteopathy consultation always begins with an inspection of the animal. The dog is examined by the canine osteopath through palpations. Whilst moving their hands over the dog, the practitioner detects muscle contractions and assesses the dog’s Primary Respiratory Movement (pulsations that spread from the animal’s skull through their body). 

After palpation, the animal osteopath issues their diagnosis and carries out specific osteopathic manipulations in order to rebalance the body. It is through these subtle manipulations that the canine osteopath works to improve blood circulation as well as the circulation of nerve impulses in the animal. Depending on the problem identified, the practitioner performs massage, visceral manipulations or mobilizations of the joints, for example. The animal osteopath can also recommend additional veterinary examinations, should this be necessary.

The animal should generally rest for 48 hours following their session of canine osteopathy. Several weeks’ space is given should any additional consultation be required. It is recommended to consult an animal osteopath who has completed a training programme in animal osteopathy that is State-accredited. The disciplines of bovine osteopathy, feline osteopathy and equine osteopathy also exist.