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What is Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a manipulative therapy which aims to restore the body’s general function to an optimum level and harmony. The holistic approach of osteopaths combined with your veterinary surgeon aims to bring the best out of your animal. Although techniques need to be adapted to each animal depending on it size, strength and physiological characteristics, almost all animals can be treated after agreement with you veterinary surgeon.

Osteopathic treatment often rebalances muscular function and healthy blood flow around sprained or pulled joints, or from compensation from old injuries. The techniques used are varied, from long lever manipulation to more subtle frictions, drainage and stimulation, cranial or visceral techniques, all hands on. Most animals, even in pain, usually enjoy the treatment and start to show sign of enjoyment and relaxation.

Animal Osteopathy focuses on rebalancing the animal into a better mechanical position and more efficient physical level which is very important for the animal’s comfort and activities. Unlike human athletes, horses are often exercised consistently without assessment of their level of health. The flexibility and muscular fitness required for activities such as jumping, bending, or more complex combinations of movements in dressage or carriage can often sprain subtly a joint which months down the line may developed into lameness.

Sometimes one limb for example is looking good and working well but biomechanically it is not integrated in the overall tracking movement of the animal, (the latter walks funny or sways in a very untypical manner) and my job is to reset the neuro-muscular system to a combined organised function.

What animal can benefit from Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is applicable to almost all animals. Each animal has various structures and functions and each treatment needs to be specifically tailored. Each animal group also has various categories which are unique to that animal. A Shire horse doesn't move like a Thoroughbred or and Andalousian. The same as a Bull dog doesn’t move and work like a Greyhound or a German Sheperd. I have treated all sizes from a rabbit to a nearly full size double-bleu bull, various breeds of dogs and horses and just few sheep/lamb.


© Copyright Christophe Becquereau 2010