When your dog or cat is hurting, it is heartbreaking. When my puppy broke his leg and was recovering from surgery, I felt so helpless and wished I had a way to help him. For my clients in the same position, I offer potential relief from pain and an accelerated recovery.
Massage works best to help injuries if I am working in conjunction with veterinary care. If your pet has an acute or chronic condition you must see your veterinarian first. I will then join your healing team to support recovery and help regain function using massage and passive range of motion.
Post-surgical: Massage has been clinically shown to reduce the overall experience of pain, and I can teach you the simple massage that does this. The same massage will relax your pet and help them cope with the down time that comes with many surgeries. Most discharge notes ask you to perform passive range of motion for joints, which is essential for retaining and regaining joint function. I can do this, and teach you if you want to do it yourself (Haley's story and her video).
Chronic conditions: Is your pet is experiencing pain and loss of function, and surgery is not an option? It's important to follow medical advice to keep pain at a minimum. Massage and PROM area an excellent adjunct. I have helped keep large dogs with hip dysplasia (Jake) and partial CCL tears (Anni) moving well for years with no further loss of function, and improved function from the time I started. Massage and PROM may do the same for your pet, and will certainly make them feel better about their situation.
Muscle strain: Active pets, or animals in a weakened state, will often experience a muscle strain or small tear. Massage can help reduce the pain while still allowing it to heal at an accelerated rate (Spumoni and Marcus.)
Avoiding further problems: A body that is in pain will shift the load to other body parts to compensate. Soon the hip problem is also a back problem or a shoulder problem. Regular massage works out these issues before they become problems. The connective tissue called fascia holds the memory of injuries long after they heal. Myofascial release can help restore it to its original state.
Recovery, Support, & Prevention
I have a miniature dachshund, Spumoni, who was a breeder in a puppy mill for the first six years of her life. Being confined in a tiny crate has left her with weak and easily injured
muscles from lack of use for so many years. My husband and I have tried to build her strength, but she is still susceptible to strains, which seem to take many months to heal. After her most recent injury, we employed Lisa’s services with hopes of speeding up the healing process with massage therapy.
Well, the recovery was probably 1/4 to 1/3 of the time it has taken in the past! Lisa’s gentle, effective, and competent touch enabled Spumoni to heal and return to her baseline activities and health. Spumoni is also very shy, but Lisa let Spumoni become accustomed to her and approach Lisa when she was ready, making the therapy as stress-free as it could be for her. - Karen Palmerino
We are extremely pleased with Lisa's work with both our dogs. She originally came to us to help our then 9 year old flat-coated retriever with a shoulder strain, and she has since continued
to help with his ongoing health. Marcus is now 12, a rarity for the breed.
She also keeps our 5 year old flat-coat, Mazie, in condition for agility and field competitions. Our dogs love it when she comes, and they clearly enjoy her thoughtful attention and muscle work. We are deeply grateful for all her kindness and attention to their well being and would recommend her highly. - Steve Binder and Kris Estes
My young pup was diagnosed with two torn ACLs in her back legs that required surgery - one at a time. Haley came home from her first surgery with 5 pages of instructions
separated into days/weeks post-op. I was clueless and scared to even touch the shaved leg that had been repaired. Lisa taught me what to do and how to do it, but I remained uncomfortable doing it because I was afraid to hurt Haley, so I asked Lisa to help me through the rehab.
Because her other leg was also in need of surgery, Haley would meet with Lisa each week to not only help with the repaired leg, but also to keep the other leg in the best shape that it could be, as it was needed to support the repaired leg during recovery. We continued massage twice a month until she was ready for her second surgery eight months later.
Lisa was there to again help with the post-op care and rehabilitation. This second surgery has been so much easier than the first in terms of speed of recovery and her ability to use her newly repaired leg. Lisa continues to do massage on Haley, with special emphasis on the muscle knots and kinks that arise because she is not yet fully recovered and uses other parts of her body to compensate.
Lisa, with the knowledge and skill that she brings, has been a gift to us. Haley adores her time with Lisa and tries to be a good client. She must know that Lisa makes her feel better - I know that I do as well! - Ellen Beaudette
See a video of Haley getting a massage.