top of page

Common conditions

Cute Dog

Galen Myotherapy can be really helpful in alleviating pain and treating a wide range of conditions that can affect the muscular health of your dog.

Helping your dog to stay healthy for longer.


To get the best results for your dog I recommend that Galen Myotherapy treatments form part of a multimodal approach. I welcome working with your vet and other therapists such as hydrotherapy, acupuncture, or physiotherapy.


Some of the most common conditions that Healthy Hound Therapy can support through Myotherapy are described below. However, this list is by no means exhaustive and there are many more conditions that can be treated. Please get in contact if you would like to discuss how I can help your dog.


beagle lazysit-1345191.jpg

Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of chronic pain in dogs. It is believed to affect 35% of dogs over 1yr old and 80% of all dogs over 8yrs in the UK. It is not just a disease that affects the elderly.

A proactive approach to pain control, exercise, and lifestyle management as part of a multimodal approach with your Vet and therapists can hugely enhance your dog’s quality of life.

Osteoarthritis -sometimes referred to as degenerative joint disease or DJD can often be secondary to other diseases like hip or elbow dysplasia or osteochondrosis (OCD) or because the joint has been injured or overloaded from a young age due to excessive sport, repetitive exercise, or obesity. It can also be genetic or the result of poor confirmation or poor nutrition.


Arthritis is a disease that waxes, and wanes and symptoms vary according to each dog and their condition. However generally symptoms can include:

  • Stiffness

  • Change in gait.

  • Decreased range of motion.

  • Localised swelling around the joint.

  • Lameness

  • Reluctance to get up or exercise.

  • Loss of muscle mass.

  • Pain or sensitivity to touch.

  • A change in behaviour - becoming irritable, nervous, or withdrawn.

 Symptoms can also be exacerbated when weather conditions are cold or wet, so it is important to keep your dog warm and dry them off properly if they have been out in the rain.


How can Myotherapy help?

Myotherapy can help to reduce the chronic pain associated with arthritis by:

Increasing circulation to facilitate tissue repair.

Aiding a reduction in swelling.

Relaxing muscles, easing stiffness and tension.

Helping maintain tendon elasticity.

Helping to maintain the normal range of movement of the joint.

Releasing endorphins which gives a positive psychological effect.


Myotherapy is hugely beneficial for treating secondary or compensatory muscle problems that can arise from an altered gait due to one or more arthritic joints.

For more information on how you can support your dog with Arthritis visit the Canine Arthritis Management website


Hip Dysplasia

Dog at the Beach

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition in which the hip grows abnormally, it can affect one or both hips. (It can be the femoral head or the hip socket that doesn’t form correctly or both) resulting in joint laxity or looseness, instability and partial or complete separation between the femoral head and the hip socket (subluxation or partial dislocation of the hip).

Hip dysplasia is more common in medium to large breeds and certain pedigree breeds, although it can occur in any breed type.


A dog with hip dysplasia may show symptoms of:


  • Limping or lameness

  • Reluctance to get up.

  • Reluctance to jump into the car or onto the furniture.

  • Instability especially in the hips/ hind legs.

  • They may sit it with their hind legs stretched out to the side (sometimes called a lazy sit).

  • Reluctance to be touched or groomed around the hind quarters.

  • Poor muscle development of the hind legs and rump.

  • Hip dysplasia often leads to arthritis.


How can Myotherapy help?

Myotherapy can be used effectively as part of ongoing, long term treatment and managed exercise to help re-balance muscles that have been compensating for the hip dysplasia. Myotherapy can also help to reduce stiffness and associated pain around the joint by using Passive movement techniques to stimulate circulation and the nervous system, which promotes the production of synovial fluid to keep the joint as healthy as possible.

Elbow dysplasia and Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD)

Golden retriever

Elbow dysplasia and Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD)

Similar to Hip dysplasia but affecting the elbow joint. Elbow dysplasia is where the elbow joint does not form or fit together properly.

If your dog has elbow dysplasia, they could also have Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) in the same joint.  OCD is the thickening of cartilage which occurs if the cartilage grows at an accelerated rate preventing the normal penetration of the blood vessels in the bone marrow. As a result of poor blood supply, the cartilage develops cracks, and fractured pieces can eventually break away becoming lodged within the effected joint causing pain and inflammation which can lead to arthritis.

OCD is often seen in fast growing medium and large breeds. It can be genetic or caused by imbalances in hormones.

O.C.D can be caused or exacerbated by over exercising young puppies before their growth plates have fully fused, repetitive exercise like ball chasing or daily living like slipping on laminate/wood floors, poor nutrition during early stages, being overweight or though injury or trauma.


Symptoms can include:

  • Lameness or uneven weight baring

  • Swelling of joints (which can be worse after exercise)

  • A reluctance to extend or flex the affected joint.

  • Muscular atrophy

  • Behavioural changes


How can Myotherapy help?

By working on the surrounding muscles, myotherapy can increase circulation, enhance lymphatic drainage, and promote tissue repair, which will aid a reduction in inflammation. Through relaxing muscles, easing stiffness and tension, myotherapy can help to reduce the associated pain.
As with treatment for Osteoarthritis / DJD, Passive movement can be an important tool in treating dogs with OCD. Encouraging the lubrication of the joint structure and providing a controlled stimulation to the nerve endings can lead to the joint being less hypersensitive. The warming effect of massage on the associated tendons helps to maintain their elasticity and can help to increase joint movement.

Myotherapy can also be hugely important for treating secondary or compensatory muscle problems that can arise from an altered gait due to one or more arthritic joints both physiologically and psychologically greatly enhancing the overall wellbeing of the dog.

bottom of page