Clinical Canine Massage – A Load of Fluff? (blog)

Clinical Canine Massage – A Load of Fluff?

Nothing moves in the body without muscle.  Not bones, not joints, not blood, not lymph, nor digestion the list just goes on and on…

Yet these powerhouses are overlooked when assessing the core health of an individual.


There are 700 muscles pulling on 320 bones producing movement in the dog.  

Compare this to 650 muscles pulling on 206 bones in a human.


What is Clinical Canine Massage?

Unlike your spa experience, Clinical Massage for dogs is a non-invasive, natural, complimentary therapy involving the assessment and manipulation of muscle, fascia and scar tissue to resolve or manage pain, dysfunction, protective splinting, compensation and mobility issues.

In other words, I release tight sore muscles and remodel scar tissue to enable your dog to move more freely and with far less pain.

Did you know scar tissue can inhibit the movement of a muscle by a whopping 50%?

Massage is best applied as a regular, preventative treatment.  However, it is also extremely effective when working with veterinary diagnosed conditions which cause pain, inhibit movement and affect gait, posture and quality of life such as:  

  • Arthritis,
  • Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Joint Disease),
  • Spondylosis,
  • Hip or Elbow Dysplasia,
  • IVDD
  • Luxating Patella
  • Cruciate Injury
Skye having routine massage following cruciate surgery


The massage techniques I gained over an intensive 2 year Practitioner Programme are human techniques adapted to canine physiology.  These include Swedish, Sports, Deep Tissue and Myofascial release, Lymphatic Drainage and Facilitated Stretch.

The handling of the canine client holds significant differences to human though.  Bigger teeth springs immediately to mind.

However, the most critical difference for you, as a responsible dog owner, is that before massage treatment can be applied Veterinary Consent is required by law (Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 and Exemptions Order 2015).

This law exists to protect you, your dog, your Vet and your Massage Practitioner.   

If anyone offers to perform any manipulative therapy on your dog without Veterinary Consent


How will you know your dog has a musculoskeletal issue?

I’ve put together some of the most common sub-clinical signs to help you:-

  • Recurring or intermittent lameness
  • Dog unable to ‘cock’ his leg to pee
  • Not able to toilet in one go
  • Lagging behind on a walk
  • Refusal to jump into the car, use stairs or ‘measuring’
  • Depressed or withdrawn
  • Refusal to play or go for walks
  • Twitching skin
  • Stiffness getting up or laying down
  • A change in tail carriage
  • Swayback or roaching
  • Defensive, evasive or unusual aggressive behaviour can also be key indicators of pain.
  • They may have lost their ‘sparkle’.
  • Sporting / Working dog performance issues
  • Oh and that scratchy leg thing they do – Myofascial restriction!


Here are four quick wins to help you to help your dog to avoid soft tissue injury:-

  1. Place rubber backed runners on your slippery floors
  2. Keep fur on pads and nails trimmed
  3. Use a ramp for the car
  4. Throw away the ball launcher!

I’m a Member of the Canine Massage Guild.  My training and experience as a muscular expert means you can expect to see visible results in 1-3 sessions.

In addition I am a CCA Licensed Canine Fitness and Conditioning Instructor and so offer a unique and  complete muscular wellness package for your dog.

I offer 8 week programs designed to strengthen and re-balance your dogs core musculature as a preventative to injury.

So, what do you think?  Clinical Canine Massage – a load of fluff?


For more information contact:

Please note: No complementary therapy replaces veterinary advice.
Your vet is the 1st person to call if you have concerns about the health of your pet.