Ruth Nicholls - SMALL ANIMAL PHYSIOTHERAPIST
Can I bring my dog to you for treatment instead of taking it to my vet?
No. Physiotherapy is a complementary treatment, and is done in
conjunction with treatment from your vet. Animals can only be treated with your vet's permission, and your vet should have seen your animal and diagnosed it's condition before physiotherapy begins.
 
Do you only treat dogs?
                                                                                                    
I am fully qualified and insured to treat all animals, but my main interest is in dogs. I have also treated cats and other small animals, as well as offering massage for horses.
 
 
 
 
 
Can I claim for physiotherapy on my pet's insurance?
Most pet insurance companies will pay for physiotherapy that is carried out with your vet's permission, and by a member of one of the recognised associations - such as the NAVP - of which I am a member.
 
How many treatment sessions will be necessary?
This will vary according to the condition being treated, the age and general condition of the dog, and on how much treatment you are able to give at home in between consultations.
 
How do I arrange a treatment for my pet?
Give me a call on 07910 483664.  I will then contact your vet for a referral.
 
My dog is booked in for an operation... how soon should physio be started?
This will depend on the condition being treated, but in general the sooner the better in order to avoid muscle wastage, tendon contracture and restricted range of movement in the joints. In some cases, eg ruptured cruciate ligaments, physio can be given pre-op to strengthen the muscles that support the joint.
 
It is several months since my dog's operation - is it too late to start physio?
No, it is never too late, but it may take longer to get good results.
 
My dog is old and I know it will never return to full fitness - is there any point in trying physio?
Yes.Old dogs often benefit from physio. Those with arthritis can
have tense muscles relaxed, and stiff joints can be eased.
Some old dogs suffer from nerve
degeneration, and these dogs can benefit from physio too as the rate of degeneration can be
slowed down.
 
My vet hasn't suggested physio... can I still bring my dog to you for treatment?
Either ask your vet directly, or give me a call on 07910 483664, and I will discuss the situation with your vet.
 
Where do the physio treatments take place?
I am based in Plympton near Plymouth, not far from the A38. Clients are usually seen here, but if your dog is unable to travel I may be able to do a home visit. Cats are generally seen in their own homes, and it is sometimes possible to see your pet at your usual veterinary surgery. Hydrotherapy sessions are held at Pool 4 Paws near Ipplepen, Devon, where both a hydrotherapy pool and an underwater treadmill are available. Click here for further information about Pool 4 Paws, and to see photos of dogs in the pool.
 
How much does a treatment cost?
The initial consultation is £55 and follow up sessions are £45 each. Physio sessions at Pool 4 Paws are £50 each. Remember that if your pet is insured you will probably be able to reclaim the cost of physiotherapy.
 
Can I just drop my dog off for its treatment and pick it up later?
No, it is important that you stay for the consultation. I will need to talk to you about your dog's medical history and find out how it has been since it's injury / operation, or since it's previous physiotherapy treatment. It is also important that you stay as your dog will feel much more confident if you are with him or her. In most cases you will also need be shown how to continue the treatment at home.
 
My dog is on medication - can it still have physio?
In almost all cases the answer is yes, but treatment may have to be tailored to take either the medication or the condition it is treating into account.
Physiotherapy is not an alternative to conventional veterinary treatment, but you may be able to reduce
the dose of some medications eg pain-killers once physio has begun, but not without first consulting your vet.
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