Hayley Hilton explains her experience of Dogfest this year
As a newly qualified Clinical Canine Massage Therapist, I turned up to DogFest North not quite knowing what to expect.
Throughout the day there was a queue of visitors waiting for their Free Canine Muscular Health Check. The variation in breeds, ages and personalities of the dogs was amazing to see while the owners watched their dogs being palpated by the Guild therapists. The therapists not only looked at the dogs musculoskeletal health they also suggested different ways of preventing certain issues based upon conversations about the dog’s activities of daily living (ADLs).
We asked the owners about the dogs daily lives to discover any changes that had been noticed in their normal routines. Some dogs had been specifically brought to talk about a "weird limp" after some ball chasing or "struggling to jump onto the sofa or into the back of a car" and in these dogs certain muscles showed the tell-tale signs of increased muscle tone or a different texture indicating a probable issue, to which we recommended seeing one of our therapists and signposted them to the Canine Massage Guild website where they could find their local therapist via the Guild Register along with some accompanying information. Before any dog can be seen by a therapist the dogs regular vet will need to have filled in a consent form and diagnosed any underlying issues.
Finally, as many of the stands were starting to pack away... we had a visiting group of 3 very special dogs... two German Shepherds with 3 legs and a little Jack Russell who was paralysed and needed a wheelchair to move. The owner told us the story of how she had come to rescue each of them from Romania and that they were all now a lot happier living with her. Each of the dogs will have to compensate for their disability so we referred the lady to the Canine Massage Guild website to find her local therapist.
So to conclude, DogFest North was a brilliant experience and one I would love to repeat in the future...See you all next year for DogFest North 2019!