My, my, how times have changed….
The wellness of dogs has been a focus of mine for many years, both for my own dogs and those I have the opportunity to care for in clinic or in their own homes. I’m pleased to see how much the idea of canine wellness has evolved.
There are so many areas that have improved: veterinary medicine, behaviour and obedience training, working and sporting practices, and of course rehabilitation.
Canine behaviour and obedience easily reflects these positive changes through it’s transitions. Years ago was the “alpha dog” style training that often included check chains and even prong collars. Then the value of positive reinforcemen
t was discovered and in many cases used in undiscerning fashion. Nowadays we have a much more balanced approach to dog training which results in a happier, more whole dog and family unit.
Canine healthcare has also seen some vast changes and improvements. The development of triennial vaccinations and/or titre testing has been phenomenal. Preventatives for parasites are significantly better and safer than they were even 10 years ago. But what I am most pleased to see is that the care to our dogs (all of our pets really) is now more balanced and multimodal.
Years ago (even longer ago than the start of my career), if a condition couldn’t be fixed by medication or surgery, the animal patient was either euthanized or continued to struggle with the condition. This is not to say that veterinarians or owners were uncaring or cruel, simply that the opportunities and knowledge we have now were not available then.
Now as a patient is being treated for just about any condition, we have access to animal massage, physio, acupuncture, behaviourists and nutritionists. Animal healthcare givers are now able to address the “bigger picture”.
In the case of rehabilitation, it’s emergence into the animal industry was an adaption from the human field. This meant many of the equipment for services that were initially offered such as hydrotherapy, were poorly adapted – at least until purpose-built equipment was available and somewhat affordable for practitioners.
These days, the education and research available is phenomenal. It’s truly incredible to think how the animal healthcare community has built and shared such knowledge for their peers. Personally, the content in Certificate in Canine Remedial Therapy has expanded my Veterinary Nursing skills and experience.
For those who remember pre-internet days may appreciate this achievement more than others simply because accessibility to information is easier than ever for practitioners and owners alike. I believe owners have also become more educated and better equipped to be their pet’s advocate when it comes to their health care.
Because of all of this, I have extremely high regard for those who have worked to make animal health care better. Because of the efforts of researchers, product and equipment developers, veterinarians (and everyone in between), we are able to ensure animals get the care and treatments the need and deserve.
The long term goal is to improve your dog’s quality of life – for today, and all of his tomorrows.