Care for animals has changed dramatically over recent years, with much more being possible through surgery.
But that has opened up a gap in aftercare, with animals needing rehabilitation services never imagined in the past.
Now Lanark vet Mirjam Coert is branching out into rehabilitation, using acupuncture, physiotherapy and laser to keep pets mobile.
“Because we are doing so much more in orthopaedic operations for our dogs and cats, rehabilitation becomes a lot more important,” said Mirjam.
“If you do orthopaedic operations, you can’t just put animals in a cage for eight weeks. You have to rehabilitate them.”
And with pets becoming so much part of the family, people want the best quality of life for them even when they grow old and stiff!
Mirjam qualified as a vet in 1991 in Utrecht, and has worked with the Clyde Vet Group for 18 years.
She has been using acupuncture since 2006 and is a member of the Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists, and has now acquired her Canine Rehabilitation Institute certificate – the American institute teaches both human physios and vets in Veterinary Rehabilitation.
Now she is going freelance, with her K9-rehab, working from the Clyde Vet premises.
“Canine rehabilitation is basically physiotherapy for dogs and can consist of a whole range of treatments,” said Mirjam.
“I am using massage and joint mobilisation to help with tension. I also use exercises to keep pets supple and to increase strength.
“Acupuncture works very well in older cats and dogs that suffer from muscle spasms and chronic pain.”
“Most dogs enjoy their sessions and some will come running to me once I call them from the waiting room.
“For cats I use acupuncture and laser therapy but some cats tolerate manipulation and even will do exercises for prawns!
“I feel strongly that this is needed and I can improve the lives of dogs and cats this way,” said Mirjam.