International Association of Animal Therapists
Case Study


It’s not just horses and dogs that need Physio!

Recently I was asked to look at a duck at the agricultural college that I lecture at part-time. The duck wouldn’t weight bear on its left leg and this had come on suddenly with no apparent reason. I checked with the college vet and they were happy for me to give physio a go. So with the help of my students that I teach small animal rehabilitation to, we carried out an assessment of the duck sand came up with a proposed treatment plan.

Treatment plan:
Although there was no obvious infection of the foot, no swelling or heat, we decided to apply Blue light phototherapy for its anti-bacterial properties, in case the duck was starting to suffer from a bacterial foot disease such as “bumble foot” often seen in Chickens.

Next we gave the duck a session of PEMF, on the acute setting, which it seemed to really enjoy, lying right down on the mat.

Lastly we used Red light on the duck, followed by massage and ROM techniques, all of this was a great learning experience for my students in a real life setting. At the end of my lesson we put the duck back out, and to our amazement the duck waddled straight off using both his legs!!! 

Since the duck’s treatment, his progress has been good, with no further lameness issues. The duck continues to be used in practical lessons at the college and the feedback from his keeper has been completely positive. Next in line, an injured Alpaca!!!

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