Dr Samantha Sherrington is K9 Swims in-house Osteopath.
Sam has been a registered Osteopath treating all members of the family, after graduating with a Master of Osteopathy in 2003, following her Osteopathic studies up with another two years of Post-Graduate studies in Animal Chiropractic in 2009/10.
Having spent just under 8 years practicing in Ireland from 2010 on wards, Sam has been back in her home grounds of the Hawkesbury since September 2017, building a mixed practice of horses, their humans and dogs of all shapes and sizes. Continuing education is something Sam feels strongly about and constantly strives to improve her practice so as to bring the best care to her clients.
Life can be tough on the body, even for the best loved and pampered pooch, and by the time they reach their ‘Golden Years’ they can be really starting to show their age in many different ways. Their metabolism slows down, often increasing weight and lowering their ability to regulate their body heat. This extra weight adds strain to already worn joints, which in turn make it harder to get your dog out for some gentle exercise to help manage the weight gain. Older dogs often also experience changes in their temperament, becoming grumpy or aggressive towards family members, especially other pets and children. This is frequently due to undiagnosed or under-treated pain, and goes hand in hand with depression, a reduced social capacity and loss of function in their normal daily activities. Pain management often becomes a big problem when the elderly dog shows the commonly seen increasing signs of side-effects and reactions to medication, and an increased reliance on them to manage simple daily tasks. I frequently hear owners feeling powerless to break this cycle - a feeling having very few satisfactory answers to helping their dog manage as their age creeps up.
Osteopathic care is a gentle approach to helping any animal function the best they can taking into account the conditions they are experiencing. Osteopaths are university trained professionals who are able to recognise where the body can function more efficiently, helping the animal move closer to ‘homeostasis’ – the body’s sense of optimal balance, ease and functioning. Osteopaths use primarily manual therapy techniques, as well as adjunctive techniques such as laser, kinesiology taping and exercise prescription.
Human studies focusing on Osteopathic Treatment in the elderly have shown improvements in respiratory function, functional ability, balance and wellbeing. There has also been noted reduction in pain levels, medication reliance and assistance with some side effects of medications such as constipation commonly seen with some pain medications. These studies, while conducted on humans, have great relevance for guiding the kind of allied care we can offer for elderly dogs, in conjunction with care provided by your Veterinarian.
Osteopathy helps to restore an animals range of motion of all joints and soft tissues of the body, creating an ability to move more comfortably through activities of daily living. In conjunction with Hydrotherapy, we can then add numerous tailored exercises and activities for the dog and owner to complete at home to help build added strength and function. In the elderly, it always amazes me how many of the co-morbidities (additional conditions such as failing organs, sight, hearing etc.) can become less bothersome when the dog is up and moving more efficiently. Movement really is the most amazing medicine for all bodies.
For more information or to discuss how Dr Sam can help your Golden Oldie live their very best life, please give her a call on 0452 472 959 or message her on Facebook @centaurusosteo