Physiotherapy is beneficial in cases of musculoskeletal ailments (e.g., prolonged lameness, pain in the back and lumbar region, tendon and ligament injuries, foot deformities in foals).
Physiotherapy is useful in post-operative rehabilitation. Consulting a physiotherapist is advisable especially after arthroscopy and colic surgery.
Physiotherapy often boosts the treatment of disorders and injuries associated with the nervous system. In addition, physiotherapy is used as supportive therapy for acutely ill or injured horses, including for promoting the functional capacity of newborn foals, maintaining respiratory function in patients with respiratory problems, and wound healing.
After identifying the problems, short- and long-term goals will be agreed with the owner. The short-term goals can, for example, include managing the pain in the back muscles, improving mobility and increasing muscle mass, activating abdominal muscles, and purchasing suitable equipment.
Long-term goals may include the horse’s return to a top athletic level and the prevention of the recurrence of back pains. A rehabilitation plan will be drawn up to attain these goals which includes a timetable and the forms of therapy chosen to be used.
Equine physiotherapy includes the following:
Laser therapy can be administered to support the healing of wounds, muscle injuries, and tendon or ligament damage.
The Veterinary Teaching Hospital also provides electroacupuncture. Electroacupuncture can help, for example, in alleviating symptoms associated with headshaking and facial nerve palsy.