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Call for pioneering canine therapy to be included in vets' ongoing training

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A pair of veterinary professionals – practising at opposite corners of the globe – are calling for Galen Myotherapy, a pioneering form of canine therapy, to be included in all vets’ ongoing training.

Galen Myotherapy is a hands-on manual muscle treatment used to treat dogs suffering arthritis, compensatory issues, chronic and musculoskeletal pain. Already used by a network of Galen myotherapists across the UK, it has successfully helped thousands of dogs. Now a pair of canine professionals, who use the treatment daily, are making the case for it to be included in veterinary CPD and graduate training.

Sussex-based vet Hannah Capon, who established her own arthritis management practice after receiving Galen Myotherapy training in 2013, and Jackie Campbell, who manages a palliative practice in Australia, believe the treatment should be used more widely after seeing the positive effects it has had on their canine patients.

Hannah, who runs the Canine Arthritis Management clinic, said, "You're dealing with pain that you can't see but they feel. It's like they are surprised as you’re finding points that have been sore for months. It's tactile, gentle, empathetic and attuned to the patients.

"I think all graduates should have exposure to this and I’d like to talk to undergraduates about the benefits of myotherapy. It's changed my whole approach - it’s career changing to think like this."

Jackie, founder of the Sunset Home Vets in Queensland – who flew to the UK to train with Galen Myotherapy founder Julia Robertson – agrees the treatment has had a positive effect on her practice.

She said, "Myotherapy is all about addressing physical restrictions and making the muscles function better. As a vet who specialises in palliative care this can benefit almost every single one of my patients. I’ve had dogs go from really struggling to move, to running again.

"I’d love to see all vets learning more about this technique. If we can align its physical application with functional retraining exercises we can make a real difference."

Jackie, who this year won the University of Queensland Distinguished Young Alumni Award for her palliative care, was keen to start using myotherapy to manage patients’ pain.

"I instinctively knew for a lot of pets, like a lot of people, just providing medication to block pain was not going to be enough. I was seeing a lot of dogs who I felt had neck and shoulder pain and recognised if I could address this, I would also be able to reduce medications.

"Myotherapy seemed to be a logical approach - we couldn’t fix their arthritic knee but we could do something about the compensatory issues they were developing."

Hannah, who qualified as a vet in 2002, admitted she was “sceptical” of using it as she had no experience of hands-on treatment. But after working on case study patients and seeing the effect it had, it was like “a hundred light bulbs going off”.

"It was like the best ‘glue’ - it seeped into all the gaps of my treatment plans and made my approach feel more complete," she added.

For more information about Galen Myotherapy visit www.caninetherapy.co.uk or call 01444 881027.

Photos: Hannah Capon and Jackie Campbell treating dogs with myotherapy.

This story is a guest submission and does not reflect the views of Dogs Monthly Magazine, always consult a qualified expert.

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