We’re delighted to launch a new veterinary physiotherapy service for pets here at West Midlands Referrals. As part of this new service, we have appointed veterinary physiotherapist Nicola Shingler to lead the newly launched offering.
Nicola, who is recognised by the Institute of Registered Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapists, will deliver individual rehabilitation programmes and therapeutic regimes for patients who have been injured or are recovering from procedures.
Nicola explained: “My main responsibility at WMR is to ensure all our patients have access to veterinary physiotherapy, so they are comfortable post-operatively and are offered an effective long-term rehabilitative care plan. I provide manual therapies, electrotherapies and remedial exercise plans and will work closely with our team of veterinary professionals to develop rehabilitative programmes and ensure bespoke therapeutic regimes are in place for all patients.
“The team at WMR are all wonderful to work with and in the short time I have been here I have found everyone so welcoming and supportive. My goal is always to provide exceptional after-care so that we optimise the outcomes from the incredible work our surgeons and nursing team do.”
Nicola said her new role at WMR was essentially her dream job, adding: “I have always loved animals and had a keen interest in science, so naturally I wanted to combine these passions into a career. Being a veterinary physiotherapist is a great mix of the two and I am able to care for pets using evidence-based techniques within a veterinary setting. I find it very rewarding to help patients recover after a period of illness or injury. I remember earlier in my career I was involved in rehabilitating a dog with polyradiculoneuritis. It is a rare condition where the peripheral nerves become inflamed and the animal often becomes paralysed. It was very sad to see this dog in such a state, but, happily, alongside veterinary care, we managed to help this pet regain their previous ability with regular physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.
“I'm honoured to help pets and their owners through their tough times and it’s wonderful getting to see my patients return to their happy, healthy selves.”
Nicola explained the different methods and techniques she will be using to help treat pets as part of the veterinary physiotherapy service: “Firstly, there are manual therapies involving massage and a range of motion exercises and stretches.
“Massage can be used as part of the recovery process to relax your pet, relieve muscular pain or tension and stimulate circulation. Range of motion and stretching exercises can improve joint flexibility and strength, whilst also helping to improve overall movement.
“At WMR, we also offer electrotherapies which are a range of treatments that focus on the application of external forms of energy, either sound, light, magnetic or electric. There’s Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (LASER) therapy, which can help with pain relief and healing of soft tissues, such as skin, ligaments/tendons and muscle. There’s also Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy, a way of electrically stimulating the nerves to produce a localised pain-relieving effect. We are also offering remedial exercises and home adaptations for owners to help their pets continue to improve and recover back in their home environment.”
Our Hospital Director Fabienne Venables said: “It’s wonderful to welcome Nicola to WMR and we’re all excited to have launched our new physiotherapy service. This new service further boosts our referral offering and the team are all working collaboratively to support Nikki and our physiotherapy patients, in providing a huge benefit to our clients and their pets.”
To find out more about our fantastic veterinary physiotherapy service, click here.