PHYSIOTHERAPIST Rachel Graham is helping poorly pets get back on their paws at an Edinburgh veterinary practice.
Pets suffering from arthritis, recovering from surgery, or which are suffering mobility problems or neurological conditions, can now benefit from physiotherapy sessions at Oak Tree Vets in Queensferry Road.
After six years working in the NHS as a human physiotherapist, Rachel has added a post-graduate diploma in veterinary physiotherapy to her qualifications.
She spends every Friday at Oak Tree, helping in the rehabilitation and general wellbeing of cats, dogs and even rabbits that can benefit from physiotherapy.
Oak Tree also has a hydrotherapy pool alongside an underwater treadmill, where dogs can have controlled exercise in warm water that helps with rehabilitation and a range of other conditions.
Rachel said: “Physiotherapy has been around for a long time, but it is now becoming increasingly popular to treat pets. What we can do for humans, we can also do for pets. We treat a wide variety of cases, whether it is arthritis in elderly cats and dogs, or patients undergoing rehabilitation following surgery or an injury.
“As well as dogs, cats can benefit from physiotherapy – even cows, sheep and rabbits.
“I assess the patient and then devise a treatment plan, which can also include hydrotherapy and laser therapy. There’s a range of strengthening and stretching exercises we incorporate into the programme and we also use poles, cones and balance cushions.
“We teach owners how to help their pets at home and advise on lifestyle management.”
The practice also takes referral cases from other Scottish veterinary practices, who take advantage of their physiotherapy service and hydrotherapy facilities.
Rachel worked as a human physiotherapist for six years after graduating from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. She then completed a post graduate diploma in veterinary physiotherapy at Hartpury University in Gloucestershire earlier this summer. She is a member of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy (ACPAT).
Rachel added: “Experience working in the human field allows us to have developed a wide range of specialist skills that are transferable to animals and therefore provide detailed assessment and individually tailored treatment plans to each animals condition at every stage.”
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