Physical Therapy & it Shows!October 20, 2009

Woburn, October 20, 2009: Maserati Tasker, the number two Black and Tan Coonhound in the US is a regular at Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital in Woburn, MA where she receives hydrotherapy on a weekly basis.

Maserati, or ‘Mazzie’, as she is affectionately known by her owners, is indeed a prize winning show dog, but she is first and foremost, a beloved family pet; albeit a family pet with the bearing of a top canine athlete. “Mazzie is absolutely in her element in a show ring, she exudes a wonderful physical and emotional energy” says owner Emily Tasker, “but the day she no longer seems to enjoy it, will be the last day she shows.”

With a long list of wins and accolades under her collar, Mazzie was named Best of Breed for her breed the Black and Tan Coonhound at the Westminster Kennel Club show in February 2009.

In June she fell while hiking with her owners. Limping and barely able to walk, Mazzie was diagnosed with a probable cervical muscle injury. She was treated with pain and anti-inflammatory medications, rest and finally physical therapy, particularly: massage, low level laser therapy, stretching, range of motion exercises, hydrotherapy and therapeutic exercise.

Veterinary physical therapy is a growing field within the veterinary industry. As with human medicine, physical therapy improves the rate of recovery following surgery, muscle and tendon injuries and neurological conditions. It reduces pain, swelling, inflammation and greatly aides in managing diseases linked to extended life-spans including arthritis.

Hydrotherapy integrates resistance training and muscle building with a low impact (buoyant) environment.  The buoyancy of the water in the underwater treadmill decreases body weight and assists with balance, reducing impact to the joints. The natural resistance of the water builds stamina, endurance and muscle mass by increasing CO2 consumption and heart rate.

In September, one month following the start of her physical therapy, Mazzie won Best of Breed again, this time at the American Black and Tan Coonhound Club Regional. Other exhibitors, judges who had seen her before, and handlers who know Mazzie questioned whether she was a new Coonhound; it was still Mazzie, she was just a better version of herself. Maserati’s gait had improved; she showed more flexibility, more fluidity and seemed genuinely happier than she had been prior to her accident and injury.

Mazzie’s regular routine combines running, hiking, a healthy diet, a loving family home and now weekly hydrotherapy. She is a lucky and very happy dog, there is no question of that, but it is important to note that as is the case in human medicine, physical therapy is not just for the athletes among us! Swimming and all the benefits of a good massage, stretching, muscle building and maintenance extend life-spans, deepens pet-owner bonds & promotes overall wellness for dogs (and cats) of all lifestyles.

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Boston West Veterinary Emergency and Specialty

Natick, MA 01760
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Capital District Veterinary Referral Hospital

Latham, NY 12110
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Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital

Woburn, MA 01801
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Port City Veterinary Referral Hospital

Portsmouth, NH 03801
603.433.0056

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Lebanon, NH 03766
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Bulger Veterinary Hospital

North Andover, MA 01845
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