My name is Vickie China and I am a Licensed Galen Canine Myotherapist from Norwich, Norfolk and am I passionate about canine myotherapy treatment and its benefits. I have seen first-hand, as an owner, how it can transform the life of a dog and I just knew I had to get involved.
So, where did it all start? My father always had working dogs and they have always been part of my life, I am always told I have an affinity with them! I went to a Norfolk agricultural college and did my diploma in Animal Management, but my career took me down a very different route after that and I had a successful management career for 15 years. During this time I rescued an ex-racing greyhound called David, David always enjoyed his walks but at only 8 years old he didn’t want to go anymore, he was in so much pain that he was struggling to walk. Arthritis was diagnosed and he was prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs to manage the pain. By 2013 the medication was increasing and having a negative effect on his wellbeing, making him very lethargic, he wasn’t the same happy, ‘spirited’ dog he once was. One day I looked at him with his neck hunched over and pinched face I just thought, do you know what this dog needs a massage, I have back issues myself and have a regular massage – I know I would be in constant pain without it.
I researched dog massage therapists and found a Galen Myotherapist in Newmarket called Nicola Wrerford. She was amazing and within 3 treatments David was back to his old-self, I really could not believe the change. She advised he had lots of muscle tension in his neck and lots of spinal sensitivity which she relieved, quite often the effects of arthritis or ‘compensation issues’ are more painful than the arthritis itself. I couldn’t help but wonder how many other dogs have to put up with the effects of arthritis and other conditions and are only medicated to mask the pain and not treat it, so I decided to train so I could help as many dogs as possible. I also had to make the decision to give up my management career so I could focus training, a decision I have never regretted.
Training, coupled with raising a new born daughter, has been hard work, but very rewarding, training to become a therapist was the best thing I have ever done. David is now 11 and still runs around like a 5 year old with no medication at all. His pain is managed through therapy and diet and I still get a buzz when I see him having a mad five minutes – something I thought I would never see again.
I also have a seven year old Airedale Terrier ‘Dudley’ who has Pelvic sacral disease following an accident when he was a puppy, he is also managed also solely on therapy and no longer needs pain relief. Dudley never shows his pain as this type of dog does not want to display any weakness (they were used in the First World War for this reason to deliver messages). Instead he became very aggressive towards other dogs because he is inwardly feeling vulnerable. Therapy has a really positive impact on his behaviour with other dogs, when he is not in pain he is much more relaxed with other dogs and enjoys his walks more.
I have the pleasure of having many clients in Norfolk and Suffolk and have had great results with a good range of breeds of dogs large and small and a range of issues for example: Arthritis, stiffness, spondylosis, hip dysplasia, lameness, post-operative care and rehabilitation, postural issues, gate problems, cow hock, maintenance of working dogs and behavioural issues. I also work with many of the canine charities in my area helping resolve issues to help dogs find their forever home – or simply make them comfortable and content during their stay.
If you would like to discuss any of your dog’s issues please do not hesitate to contact me, I would be very happy to talk to you.