For those of you interested in or already doing equine massage you may have the question, “Will this work for other animals without special training for those specific animals?” The answer is yes. If you are doing horses or expect to be massaging horses in the future, here is a story and some excerpts from letters showing how effective equine massage can be for dogs. If you wish to just study canine massage, that is fine, but if you want to do or are already doing equine massage, not to worry; the techniques I teach for horses, also work for dogs.
LUCKY — THE PARALYZED DOG — HIS STORY
Lucky was presented to Village Animal Hospital with an acute onset of paralysis in both of his back legs. He could not stand or walk. He could not urinate without having his bladder expressed. He had neurological deficits and according to his veterinarian, the only good news was that he still had some deep pain responses. After a diagnostic workup that did not reveal the true cause of the paralysis, MRI and surgical decompression were recommended. Lucky’s family was not able to afford that route so they chose “Plan B” offered by his veterinarian.
Lucky’s treatment consisted of hospitalization with medical management that included high doses of anti-inflammatory corticosteroids and gastrointestinal protectants. After 72 hours his condition was declining with decreased deep pain reception. At that time the decision was made to euthanize him as it seemed like the only humane option.
Right at the time that Lucky was given his first sedative in preparation for the euthanasia, I dropped in to visit at the hospital. The rest of the procedure was stopped and, as a “why not give it a try” option, I was asked to work on Lucky. After I worked on Lucky, his family was asked if they would be willing to see how he responded to the Shiatsu massage treatment the next day, after the sedation wore off. They agreed. By the next morning, his condition had greatly improved. I discussed the massage techniques to use and a technician at the hospital worked on him three times per day. At the end of the fourth day Lucky was able to go home with only mild weakness in the back legs, and he recovered completely within two weeks and did not have any recurrence. His veterinarian, Dr. Dona Earnheart said in her recommendation letter, “Shiatsu massage therapy and adjusting techniques were the treatment modalities that resolved Lucky’s problem,” and Lucky’s family wrote, “We truly believe that Geary was an angel sent from heaven to cure Lucky”.
Yes, Shiatsu massage is very powerful, and it is not just for humans or horses.