Kent vets is one of the first in UK to offer massage and physio training to entire team
Kent based Pennard Vets is one of the first veterinary groups in the UK offering pet massage and physio training to its entire team, to help pets recover faster and more effectively following operations, as well as relaxing them in practice.
Pennard Vets has seven practices in Kent and the sessions are being run by Hannah Olliff-Lee, who is a registered veterinary nurse, as well as a qualified animal physiotherapist, and Caron Stone who is a qualified veterinary nurse, physiotherapist and hydrotherapist.
The training course is available to Pennard Vets’ entire team and covers effective forms of massage and physio training to improve the mobility and mental wellbeing of patients.
Hannah explained: “There is strong evidence about the positive effects of massage for pets and especially after an operation. These benefits include improved circulation, reduction in swelling, pain relief and lymphatic drainage, which can even improve immune response and recovery time.
“I’ve always believed that physiotherapy can take many forms and be adapted to most patients and conditions. Although some of these interventions require a physiotherapist’s knowledge of the various therapeutic machines, there are lots of conditions that we can treat with manual techniques, including effleurage, tapotement and petrissage. With these we use our hands to massage and carry out passive exercises and motions, in key areas covering the neck and spine, shoulders and thighs, as well as each individual limb.
“This is also useful for in-patients who might have their movement restricted, which can make them stiff and uncomfortable. Massage also provides mental stimulation and emotional well-being. Plus, patients who are stressed or injured will often tense their muscles, but massage helps them relax and increases endorphins, which makes the pet feel happier and more comfortable.
“Obviously there are certain conditions where we don’t promote massage, such as cancer, pregnancy, fevers, fractures, skin irritations and where pets are injured or bruised, and a key feature of our course is ensuring our team know when massage isn’t appropriate.”
Finally, Hannah added: “Although the course is optional for our team, it’s proving extremely popular and the majority of our veterinary nurses have signed up for it, which ultimately demonstrates the lengths that our team are prepared to go to for our patients.”
Pennard Vets, has seven practices in Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Maidstone, Allington, Borough Green, Langley Park and West Malling. In 2021 Pennard Vets became the largest veterinary practice in the world to become employee owned, through an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), meaning its entire team are now practice owners and shareholders in the business.
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