Author and physical therapist Susan E. Davis spends her days providing stretching, laser, massage or perhaps water exercise treatments for her patients in an effort to relieve their pain and help them rehab from an injury or surgery.
But instead of the human patients she treated for many years, these days the patient might be a dog, cat, rabbit or even a camel.
Her book, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation for Animals, details her expertise in the relatively new field of using traditional physical therapy methods on species other than humans.
It seems that many of the same methods that bring relief to people can alleviate pain for other species as well, though the notion only gained acceptance in the 1990s and still is somewhat rare.
Davis shares advice on how to choose an animal physical therapist and what to expect from the initial and follow-up appointments. She also reveals common physical problems with hips, shoulders, legs and “elbows” as well as offering help for strains, sprains and neurological conditions.
Much of the information is highly technical and complicated and the average reader may find it beyond complete comprehension. but many pet “parents” would benefit from reading the book for reference purposes in the event a problem arises with a beloved pet, because there is much that is encouraging about the field of animal physical therapy. It could help people better understand the aftercare process if a pet is facing surgery, has been injured, or is suffering from arthritis, for example.
The book is not designed as a how-to or do-it-yourself manual. In fact, the author cautions that untrained though well-meaning hands can actually do more harm than good.
The author’s knowledge and experience are evident throughout, as is her compassion and love for animals of all kinds. She even offers practical advice on how to avoid the detrimental effects of hardwood floors (trendy for people but painful and potentially damaging for pets unless rugs are scattered about) and the dangers of walking a dog but focusing on a cell phone conversation or listening to something on headphones instead of paying attention to possible dangers in the animal’s path. Both of these are loving and humane suggestions and offer insight into the level of caring Davis possesses.
Most people consider their pets a valued member of the family and anyone who has watched a family member such as this suffer an illness or injury could benefit from keeping a copy of the book on hand, in the hopes of never having to use it.
Published simultaneously at http://www.bookpleasures.com.