Title: All Hands On Pet! Your How-To Guide on Home Physical Therapy Methods for Pets
Available in both paperback and Kindle formats
Author: Susan E. Davis, PT
Reviewed for the NABBW by: Anne L. Holmes
Author Susan E. Davis is a licensed physical therapist with over 40 years’ clinical experience. Perhaps uniquely, she has transitioned her professional practice from humans to animals. Since 2008, Davis has owned and operated Joycare Onsite, LLC, providing Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation services exclusively to multiple animal species. Her work may be performed in the pet’s home, on farms, in clinics, in animal shelters, and at a zoo.
In addition to her onsite patient care services, Susan provides distance/virtual consulting to pet owners beyond her geographic region. And to assist pet owners no matter where they live, she’s taken on article and book writing, public speaking and consulting. You’ll find Susan’s pet-related articles at Veterinarians.com and Dawg Business.
For the past five years Davis has also been a credentialed member of the media team for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City. She is an advocate for helping animals live active, happy lives through educating owners on all options available to promote mobility. All Hands on Pet! is her second book.
Susan’s first book, “Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation for Animals: A Guide For The Consumer,” was penned to help people understand the purpose of veterinary rehabilitation. As such, it is a reference guide to a variety of disabilities commonly experienced with companion pets. She tells us that while the feedback from the first book has been great, readers told her they wanted to see more ‘how-to” guidance, with photos. Which is exactly what All Hands On Pet! provides.
Truly a how-to guidebook, Pet! features 38 photos, many with directional arrows, showing basic stretches, massage techniques and offers other tips on practical and safe home methods to help a variety of animal species. The entire lifespan of a pet — from puppy and kitten-hood, through adult years and finally seniorhood — is thoroughly covered.
Davis says that while each of her books was written to stand alone, she hopes people with use them together. That’s why she’s endowed All Hands on Pet! with a series of content-based side bars she calls “Key Connections.” Each of these briefly explain a PT technique and ends by referencing the relevant section of her first book, complete with page numbers. This offers the reader the best possible understanding of what sort of physical therapy a pet might need, and why.
This integration of the two books is especially useful for those who might like to provide their pets with physical therapy, but find no qualified therapy providers within easy driving distance. (Apparently as pet owners have become more aware of the benefits of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation for animals, they’ve also discovered few qualified practitioners.) Davis says her true purpose in writing this second book is to teach pet owners physical therapy methods they can safely apply at home. And to know when physical therapy is not advised.
Should you be thinking this information is interesting, but doesn’t apply to your pet gerbil or rabbits, be aware that in addition to dogs and cats, Davis uses physical therapy to treat a wide variety of house pets including reptiles, birds, horses and farm animals.