Is Medical Massage Right for my Pet?

You could be forgiven for thinking that massage is purely human treatment. Many people choose to have massages, both as part of physical therapy or chiropractic treatment plans to help them recover from an accident or injury, or as a method of relaxation. However, it’s not just us that can benefit from medical massage therapy. Animals have been shown to reap similar sorts of benefits from this drug-free, non-invasive treatment too.


How do you know if a medical massage is right for your pet? Let’s find out.

Medical massage for pain relief

Medical massage for pets is predominantly used to relieve pain. Many owners dislike the idea of their pet taking pain medications if it can be at all avoided, and medical-massage can help to reduce or even eliminate reliance on pain-relieving drugs. This can be especially helpful if your pet is suffering from a painful long-term condition, such as arthritis.


Massage relieves pain in several ways. Firstly, it stimulates your pet’s circulation, increasing the rate at which blood flows around their body, delivering vital oxygen and nutrients which can help with reducing inflammation and increasing healing. If your pet has suffered an injury, massage could help them to recover more quickly. Secondly, massage has been shown to trigger the release of natural pain-relieving hormones and increase the speed at which oxytocin is released. Oxytocin is a relaxant and helps to ease anxiety and stress, two feelings that can make your pet’s pain seem worse than It really is.

What health conditions can medical massage help with?

Veterinarians have found that medical massage can help to treat the symptoms of a range of different health conditions that can affect our pets. These include, but aren’t limited to:


  • Degenerative joint disease, also called osteoarthritis, occurs when the cartilage in joints degenerates over time, causing inflammation, stiffness, and pain. It is more common in overweight dogs or those who have suffered injury or had surgery on the joints.

  • Cruciate ligament injuries. These affect the knee joints and often occur if an animal has jumped, twisted, or turned awkwardly.

  • Elbow and hip dysplasia, a condition characterized by problems with the elbow and hip joints that cause pain and mobility problems.

  • Spondylosis, a disease of the spine typically found in older dogs that causes new bone growth along the vertebrae.

  • A luxating patella, a term used to describe a dislocated kneecap.

  • Intervertebral disc disease, also known as IVDD, an age-related degenerative condition that causes pain, loss of limb function, and paralysis.

Other benefits of medical massage for pets

There is a range of other benefits associated with medical massage too. These include:


  • Boosting your pet’s immune system, which will help them to fight diseases more efficiently

  • Improved posture and ease of movement

  • A reduction in age-related deterioration

  • Relaxing and calming your pet

  • Reduced fatigue

  • Improved overall wellness



If you would like to find out more about the benefits of medical massage, please speak to our knowledgeable veterinary team at Elizabeth Veterinary Clinic Inc. in Roselle, NJ at (908) 245-7853 to schedule an appointment!