• INMOTIONvetphysio

Veterinary Physiotherapy for Working dogs

Updated: Apr 14

Meet Swaledales two operational mountain rescue search dogs.....

search and rescue dog

Olly is a border collie who trains with his handler and owner Ian Speirs. They have been operational since 2014. Olly is particularly good at finding things. His most favourite thing in the world is a ball, followed by a wallow in the dirtiest puddle. However, he dislikes a blow dry when wet.

Cassie is also a border collie who trains with her handler and owner Tim Cain. They have been operational since 2018. Despite being small, Cassie has the heart of a lion and shows great determination to get to the body even over difficult terrain. Her favourite things are, her toys, sausages, and dirty ditch water, and her biggest dislike is stinging nettles.


Olly and Cassie train with their handlers at least weekly, sometimes more. Search and rescue dogs are graded as air-scenting dogs, however Olly is also rained as a trailing dog. Their job is to search large areas of ground to find missing people. Call outs may require the dogs to be out for several hours at one time, for more than one day, working over sometimes difficult terrain and in challenging weather conditions. They really are special dogs!

My role as the team's veterinary physiotherapist is to work in conjunction with their veterinary surgeon to help keep them in peak physical condition. They are assessed on a regular basis and a close eye is kept on any weak areas or stiffness's. I will observe their posture and gait, test joint range of motion and feel through their muscle groups noticing any muscle tightness or pain. They are treated with massage/ myofascial release techniques, sometimes laser or pulsed magnetic therapy, and if required, strengthening and mobility exercises are prescribed.

To find out more about mountain rescue search dogs follow this link

If you have a working dog who would benefit from veterinary physiotherapy click here to get in touch..

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