Kinesiology taping for dogs is – just like taping horses – an add-on to the canine physiotherapists’ skills and is used in many applications. It can be used to relieve pain and improve blood circulation. There is increasing demand for veterinary taping and therefore we anticipate many more veterinary professionals and physiotherapists using this method daily in the rehabilitation and treatment of dogs.
Improving muscle function
The kinesiology tape can improve muscle function through regulation. The direction in which the medical tape is placed, is key.
- To activate a muscle: the tape is applied from the point of origin to insertion with 15-25% stretch
- To de-activate a muscle: the tape is applied from the point of insertion to the point of origin with 10-15% stretch
The rationale for the above statementremains unclear, but the effects on canine patients, observed by their therapists, are very positive and are increasingly confirmed by studies. Also, with electro-myographic equipment, we see that the muscle activity is influenced by the tape and according to the direction it is applied.
The extensive theoretical information can be found in our equine kinesiology taping book.
A short summary:
- The elastic fibres from the tape pull the skin towards the base
- The subcutis is also shifted towards the base, through connections with the upper layer of the skin
- This causes stimulation of the receptors in the subcutis
- The fibres from the subcutis want to revert to their normal or relaxed position
- The subcutis shares (at the side of the fascia) the innervation from the muscle
- The muscle fibres are therefore stimulated to either relax or contract towards the base of the tape
Kinesiology tape for dogs: application & uses
The effect of VetkinTape is based on its ability to interact with the skin and associated neuro and mechano sensory receptors. Unlike a brace or support, elastic kinesiology tape neither compresses tissue nor limits range of motion. In fact, the canine kinesiology tape decompresses the tissue, lifts the skin and allows increased blood and lymph circulation. This can assist and speed the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
One can positively influence the balance between joints, muscles and ligaments, by applying kinesiology dog tape. In conventional taping, joints are being immobilized. The longer this state lasts, the less flexible and durable the tissues (ligaments, tendons etc) become. The structure of the tissue can change and adhesions might occur, causing further restriction to the joint’s mobility. With VetkinTape one can support the joint without affecting its range of movement. Combining the following techniques with an activating muscle tape, will further complete the treatment.
- Proprioceptic Stimulation and pain relief
- Ligament Taping
- Stabilization and influencing movements of joints
- Influencing the fascia
- Space correction
- Limiting ROM
Practical clinical experience has shown that the activity and function of various organs can also be influenced by taping. This applies not only to segmental zones but also the fascial network from organ to skin can be treated using VetkinTape. The relaxation of the fascial structures seems to enhance organ functions and thereby body function. In the application of kinesiology tape for humans, there can be pain relief when treating stomach- and menstrual pain. Physical therapists are well aware of the segmental zones and know the benign influence derived from treating the skin and the fascia. However, proper caution should be taken when treating dogs with various organ issues, injuries etc.
VetkinTape is most commonly used because the integral stretch of the tape corresponds to the elasticity of the skin. The skin is stretched by lengthening the muscles underneath as the tape is being applied. When the muscle is placed back in neutral position, the contraction of the tape lifts the skin and can provide pain relief. If the kinesiology tape is applied correctly one will see curves (convolutions) appear on the back of the tape (which cause the skin to lift).
Want to learn more about canine kinesiology taping? Book a course
The 2 days interactive canine kinesiology taping course will provide the opportunity to learn about this fascinating and effective method of improving the gait patterns of healthy dogs.
Attention: We would like to remind you that certain tape applications, provided on our website are not yet fully scientifically proven. Mentioned applications are based on extensive evaluation and case studies with licensed veterinary physiotherapists and/or other veterinary professionals.