Taiwan visit for Sussex dog specialist

Julia (third from left) with her fellow speakers
Julia (third from left) with her fellow speakers

Pet owners in Taiwan were given expert advice on how to better look after their beloved pooches by a Sussex dog specialist at the country’s first ever canine symposium.

Julia Robertson was among a handful of VIP’s to talk at the weekend event dedicated to dog health. The Bolney-based animal expert is the founder of Galen Myotherapy, a unique hands-on manual muscle treatment that helps dogs suffering from underlying pain, arthritis and compensatory issues, and spoke about how to spot canine health problems.

Julia, who has a background in farming and veterinary nursing, is now keen to share her experience of working in the country, to help break taboos surrounding the Asian island nation and its treatment of dogs.

She said: “This was my second visit to Taiwan and they are very much a nation of dog lovers, just like us Brits, despite some misplaced stereotypes.

“This is reflected in the fact it was one of the first Asian countries to introduce an animal health act, and by the number of people who came to the seminar. All the people I met and spoke to are dedicated to their dogs and were keen to find out more about how to support them.”

Julia was one of four canine experts who spoke at the symposium in the capital Taipei. Her talk focussed on pain and the behaviours that can manifest in a dog if it is suffering from an underlying condition. And it is this kind of pain – that can be brought on by previous trauma or repetitive strain – that Julia is determined to treat in dogs, using myotherapy.

She said: “Very often people can perceive habits such as paw licking and chewing as a behaviour totally unrelated to chronic pain, but this can be a clear indicator to underlying issues that is causing the dog stress, through referred pain.

“The thought they may be suffering hidden, underlying pain is not considered but so often this is the reason why dogs present many altered behaviours and physical changes – and it was this message that I was getting across to the Taiwanese audience.

“By working with dogs to pinpoint and relieve their pain we can make their lives, and that of their owners, so much better. All the work I do is aimed at supporting animals so they don’t have to suffer in silence, and I was delighted to be able to share my practice with so many Taiwanese dog lovers.”

Other speakers at the symposium included internationally renowned dog trainer Turid Rugaas and physiotherapist and osteopath Els Vidts.

For more information about Galen Myotherapy visit www.caninetherapy.co.uk.

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