What is Pet Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy for animals relates to the treatment and management of conditions relating to the musculoskeletal, neuro-muscular, and cardiorespiratory systems of your pet. It also involves maintaining optimal function and preventing dysfunctionality. The goals of animal physiotherapy is to reduce pain, promote the healing process, improve muscle length and joint range of motion, restore normal movement patterns, and increase cardiovascular fitness. This will help to maintain, restore and maximise ideal movement and functional ability, thereby improving and maintaining quality of life of the animal. The animal physiotherapist works closely with the vets and is an important part of the animal care team.

Physiotherapy also involves the maintenance of optimal function and improvement in performance of healthy animals, specifically athletic/working dogs, overweight/obese animals and geriatric patients. Our team consists of pet loving physios and is led by a Certified Animal Physiotherapist.

So come on over with your ‘furkid’ and meet our team at our pet friendly Physiotherapy Centre in Kepong!

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The physiotherapy method used will vary according to each individual patient and the conditions treated. With the help of various modern technologies, state of the art equipment and facilities and skilled therapists, we can provide your pet with the best possible path to recovery.

Orthopaedic conditions

Post-operative rehabilitation: e.g. joint surgery such as hip, stifle, elbow, amputation, ligament/tendon repair.

  • Acute and chronic soft tissue injuries (e.g. muscle, tendon, ligament or joint capsule) Osteoarthritis or joint disease (e.g. hips or elbows) Trauma and wound management
  • Sport injuries

Neurological conditions

  • Post-operative rehabilitation (e.g. spinal decompression surgery)
  • Intervertebral disc disease (conservative management)
  • Central or peripheral nerve injuries
  • Fibrocartilaginous embolism
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Balance/vestibular problems

Physiotherapy techniques and modalities for rehabilitation

1. Manual therapy

Involves the use of specific passive and active movement techniques in a therapeutic and healing manner. Consists of soft tissue release, myofascial release, stretching, and specific joint mobilisations. These techniques help to reduce pain, improve muscle length, improve joint range of motion, promote blood flow to required areas, as well as for relaxation.

2. Electrotherapy

Therapy using electronic devices such as laser therapy, electro-muscular and nerve stimulation, and therapeutic ultrasound.

Laser therapy

LASER (Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is a form of electromagnetic radiation. It is the absorption of light in irradiated tissues by specific biomolecules. The light energy is transformed into biochemical energy which ultimately results in the alteration of cellular functions such as cell metabolism, as well as stimulation of tissue healing. Laser therapy also helps to decrease pain by desensitisation of the pain receptors.

EMS (Electro-Muscular Stimulation)

EMS is the application of low-or medium frequency electrical currents to stimulate sensory and motor nerves to facilitate muscle contraction or pain relief. It helps to strengthen muscles and prevent/slow down muscle atrophy, re-educate muscle control, improve sensory awareness, reduce muscle spasm, and reduce swelling.

TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)

TENS works on the same principles as EMS, however, it is mainly used to reduce pain. It works by increasing blood flow (thereby removing waste products), causes localised blocking of peripheral nerve fibres, and inhibits nerve conduction of pain through pain-gating mechanisms as well as descending inhibitory mechanisms.

Therapeutic Ultrasound

Ultrasound therapy makes use of the application of longitudinal sound waves to the body. The penetration of the sound waves causes the tissues being treated to oscillate in the same direction as the sound waves. This stimulates tissue healing, pain relief, as well as fracture healing. Ultrasound therapy has also been proven to be effective on tissues with high collagen content such as ligaments, tendons, fascia, joint capsule, and scar tissue.

3. Heat and Cold Therapies

Cold therapy (cryotherapy) can be used in the acute stage of inflammation (first 2-3 days following injury/surgery) as well as in certain cases of chronic inflammation (e.g. arthritis). The benefits of cold therapy include reducing pain, reducing blood flow, inflammation, swelling, and reducing muscle spasticity.

Heat therapy (thermotherapy) is used after the initial acute period of inflammation (days 4-5 onwards after injury/surgery). The benefits of heat therapy include reducing pain, reducing muscle spasm and promoting muscle relaxation, increasing circulation in the area, improving soft tissue elasticity, and increasing nerve conduction velocity.

4. Therapeutic Exercise

Therapeutic exercise is the systematic execution of planned physical movements and activities. It is used to prevent long-term physical dysfunction, helps function return to normal/optimal level, reduce the risk of injuries, enhance overall health, improve fitness, and aids weight loss. Therapeutic exercise helps to increase overall strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, and proprioception.


Hydrotherapy involves the use of physical properties of water to facilitate rehabilitation process and enable a quicker return to function of the patient. Buoyancy is when the body is placed in water, experiences an upward thrust equal to the weight of the water it has displaced. It allows the patient to exercise with reduced pressure on the joints. Hydrostatic pressure is when the water exerts a certain amount of pressure on the body, which may help to reduce oedema and increase lymph drainage. Water viscosity and turbulence provides resistance which can help to improve muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness, as well as potentially improve sensory awareness.

Benefits of Hydrotherapy

  • Reduced pressure on the joints and tissue structures
  • Improved range of motion by increased flexion and extension movements
  • Increase in blood circulation
  • Increases muscular strength and prevents atrophy
  • Improves cardiovascular fitness
  • Provides form of exercise when land-based activities are restricted
  • Allows quicker return to normal function
  • Reduces oedema/swelling through hydrostatic pressure
  • Provides relaxation

Specific land-based exercises

  • Patients recovering from injury/surgery
  • Geriatric/elderly patients suffering from arthritic joints
  • Neurological patients that require return to normal function
  • Specific training for athletic/working dogs
  • General exercise to improve overall health and maintain normal function

5. Kinesiotaping

Kinesiotaping is the application of a specialised adhesive tape to a specific area of the body. It works by physically lifting the skin in the area of application to help increase circulation (improve blood flow and lymph drainage). It also stimulates the mechanoreceptors in the area, increasing awareness and promoting correct usage of muscles, as well as providing stability to the joints. Different taping techniques will determine its function.

Contact our physiotherapy centre today to book an appointment and start the journey to the ultimate quality of life for your pet.

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This includes sport specific training for ant pet dog up till a working dog, fitness programs are developed according to life stage (puppy, adult and senior), as well as weight loss exercise programs. Programs are designed according to the specific needs of each individual animal after a thorough evaluation. The modalities and techniques used for fitness training include hydrotherapy (indoor, heated pool), treadmill training, as well as obstacle course training with specific land-based exercise equipment.

Canine treadmill

The treadmill we use is specifically designed for dogs and is fitted with a force-plate analysis system which can be used for lameness detection. The treadmill provides a controlled environment for training where speed and interval can be adjusted while allowing close monitoring by the physiotherapists, therefore reducing the risk of injury. Fitness tests can also be conducted as an additional tool to monitor progress.


Our indoor, heated swimming pool was designed specifically for animals of all shapes and sizes. Apart from the physical benefits of the heated water, the pool also has jets which provide many additional benefits such as further increase in awareness, improved circulation, and relaxation.

Exercise equipment

The rehabilitation exercise equipment can also be used for very specific strengthening, balance and proprioception, agility, and stability training. Sport specific training can help improve performance as well as reduce the risk of injury.

Ask our physiotherapist about the various Canine Fitness programs which we have developed:

  • Pain management
  • Obesity / Weight Loss
  • Geriatric patients
  • Athletic/working dogs


And these are some of the benefits your pets will gain from our customised

Canine Fitness Programs:

  • Increased cardiovascular fitness
  • Increased muscle strength and flexibility
  • Improved endurance
  • Improved coordination
  • Increased core strength
  • Improved posture
  • Improved performance

Do you want to be a step ahead of the competition?

Do you want your dog to be in the best shape possible?

Book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists today and we will design a program specific to the needs of your canine companion/athlete.

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In 2015 alone Animal Medical Centre Kuala Lumpur, was presented with 280 cases of debilitating lameness and paresis. These cases ranged from dogs with inherited disease resulting in early developing osteoarthritis and includes geriatric pets with end stage spinal and hip osteoarthritis. The limited response to conventional medical and surgical options prompted Dr Amilan Sivagurunathan and his team of senior veterinarians to pursue alternative technologies and trends with the hope of implementing novel and therapeutic technologies to benefit these patients. One of the technologies used in our stem cell application is from MediVet Biologics.

MediVet Biologics developed the first in-clinic Adipose Stem Cell Therapy kit. They continue to make advancements in veterinary regenerative medicine and biological therapeutic offerings for both equine and small animal applications. MediVet’s Adipose-Derived Stem Cell Procedure kit is a major scientific advancement in animal stem cell therapy that offers an economic solution for owners of pets suffering from osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, ligament and cartilage injuries as well as numerous mobility ailments.

MediVet’s accomplishments in the regenerative medicine market have given way to an incredible pipeline of technological advancements and the ability to successfully bring those animal health products to market. MediVet is the only Veterinary Regenerative Medicine company to have multiple collaborative university studies further validating current technology and product pipelines. Their work boasts extensive collections of anecdotal evidence of efficacy through clinical cases and field reporting. They continue to provide concrete validation in all MediVet Biologics’ endeavours.

Stem cell applications via, autologous adult mesenchymal stem cell (ADMSC) therapy, provides promise for many animals that have undergone this treatment with the following benefits:

  1. Reduction of dependence on NSAID (pain medications). Long term use has been widely known to results in a list of side effects to the gastrointestinal tract, Renal function and Liver function.
  2. An alternative prior to surgical intervention. Surgery is often considered the end stage/last procedure considered in the management of hip dysplasia. Some patients may not be in the best of health to undergo major orthopaedic correction.
  3. A novel and proven method of biological pain control.
  4. The option of stem cell banking allows the use of ADMSC in multiple planned treatments for canine and feline osteoarthritis.

Our latest study on ADMSC us in MALAYSIA is currently being published. We will be pursuing more investigations on the following diseases areas:

  1. Feline Bronchial Asthma
  2. Heart Disease
  3. Liver Disease
  4. Kidney Disease

Stem-cell Therapy is included in an area of modern medicine known as regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine simply means that we use the body’s own regenerative systems for protecting and repairing itself by inducing certain mechanisms. These self-repairing mechanisms can be induced through different means, but stem cell have proven to be one of the most effective ways of achieving fairy consistent and measurable result. The process seems simple enough, but requires proper technique, training and a sterile environment.

Stem Cell Therapy in Development

Vet-Stem is currently evaluating the use of stem cells for treatment of:

  • Inflammation bowel disease (IBD)
  • Kidney disease – cats
  • Liver disease
  • Immune mediated diseases
  • Heart diseases

Vet-Stem believes there are certain applications where stem cells may not be appropriate.
These include:

  • Cancer
  • Systemic infection

How The Treatment Works

Stem cell Treatment for Diabetes

Change in NSAID Usage in Dogs Treated with Stem Cells for Osteoarthritis

90% Days Post Stem Cell Treatment

Survey Range: 76-105 days, N=170
Owner voluntary responses 10/08 – 05/09

246 Days Post Steam Cell Treatment

Survey Range: 106 – 470 days, N=139
Owner voluntary responses 10/08 – 05/09

Conclusion: At 90 and 246 days after treatment

Greater than 33% of dogs discontinued the use of NSAIDs completely
Greater than 28% of dogs decreased their dependency in NDAIDs

Osteoarthritis and older dogs

Clinical Data Summary* | Older Dog Age Range = 9 to 18 years

Quality of Life from 90 Days Owner Surveys


81% showed an improved quality of life
63% were not re-treated in the first year
76% of older dogs treated suffered from severe arthritis
83% of owners would recommend Vet-Stem Cell therapy

Causes & Symptoms of Dysplasia

Hip and elbow dysplasia are caused by different factors that combine to advance the conditions most commonly associated with the disease.


Potential risk factors include:

  • Genetics
  • Rapid Growth
  • Large size of breed
  • Diets that are rich in calories, fat and calcium


Dogs with dysplasia typically limp. Other symptoms include:

  • Difficulty standing up
  • Hind-end “bunny hopping” (hip dysplasia)
  • Loss of muscle mass in the affected leg
  • Difficulty using stairs
  • Pain when jumping