Animal Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy for Animals

Physiotherapy may be defined as the use of physical techniques for the treatment of injuries and movement dysfunction.

In the world of human medicine, physiotherapy has been proven as an indispensable aid in the recovery of many muscloskeletal conditions, as evidenced by the extensive physiotherapy departments within most hospitals.

Nowadays, this important branch of medicine is also rapidly becoming a recognised tool in the prevention, cure, and rehabilitation of many equine, canine and feline injuries.

Many common conditions respond well to physiotherapy:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Muscle imbalance/atrophy
  • Joint & ligament injuries
  • Hip & elbow dysplasia
  • Back pain
  • Paresis & paralysis
  • Tendon injuries
  • Wounds & lick granulomas

Before physiotherapy can commence, it is imperative that a veterinary diagnosis is obtained.

This is necessary for 2 reasons:-

Physiotherapy encompasses many different techniques. These include both the skilled use of the physiotherapist's hands and the use of modern therapeutic modalities.

  • soft tissue mobilisation
  • acupressure
  • joint mobilisation
  • specific exercises
  • hydrotherapy
  • simulated laser
  • ultrasound
  • neuromuscular stimulators
  • pulsed magnetic field therapy
  • thermotherapy

A treatment may involve just one or a combination of the above techniques.

The goal of each treatment will vary according to each individual case, but generally will include:


Training in Physiotherapy for Animals

In order to be qualified to carry out physiotherapy for animals in the UK, training must be undertaken with either of the following organisations:-

National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists

The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy.
Tel: 01962 844390

This article was written by Fiona Martin, BSc.Hons, MSc, N.A.A.T. She is based in Rugby, Warwickshire and specialises in physiotherapy for dogs.