What is Animal Physiotherapy?
Animal or Veterinary Physiotherapy is a complimentary therapy for your pet. This means we work alongside your veterinarian and other professionals to keep your animal in top physical condition, as well as helping aches and pains. Animal Physiotherapy also supports animals with injuries and disabilities.
What injuries do you help?
Animal Physiotherapists can help with a wide range of disabilities and injuries in animals. Some common ones you may have heard of are:
Small Animal: Arthritis, Cruciate Injuries, IVDD, Luxating Patella, Hip/Elbow Dysplasia, Swimmers
Large Animal: Kissing Spines, Arthritis, Muscle Spasm/Strains, Tendon/Ligament Damage
Animal Physiotherapists can also help both before and after surgery.
How do I choose an Animal Physiotherapist?
It may seem a little daunting to trust someone with your pet, companion, or working animal. To ease your mind, there are multiple regulatory bodies for Animal Physiotherapists. Make sure your Animal Physiotherapist is qualified, registered with a regulatory body, and insured before they treat your animal.
If your Animal Physiotherapist is coming from Northern Ireland, they may be registered with UK based regulatory bodies.
What to expect
On first making contact with your chosen Animal Physiotherapist, you will arrange an appointment, give a quick summary of why you need an Animal Physiotherapist, and give your Animal Physiotherapist your vet’s details if they are not from a referral.
On your first appointment, your Animal Physiotherapist will run through some questions with you about the animal, they will watch the animal move, and then do a physical evaluation. Based on this, the Animal Physiotherapist will begin a plan of action that may involve the use of manual therapy, or their various pieces of equipment. Your Animal Physiotherapist will often then leave you some exercises to perform at home between appointments, as well as send a report to your veterinarian.
Subsequent appointments may then be arranged if needed. The amount of appointments needed depends entirely on the individual animal. Some factors that influence this are: complexity of the issue at hand, long term disabilities, the response of the animal, how much work the owner puts in between appointments. Sometimes, the Animal Physiotherapist does not want to overwhelm an animal on their first appointment. There may also be a point where your Animal Physiotherapist feels any further work will aggravate instead of help, and so the animal may need rest between appointments. Further appointments will build on what was done in the first, taking regular measurements to help shape future appointments.
How do I arrange an appointment?
The fastest way to arrange an appointment is to speak to your veterinarian for a referral. Many Animal Physiotherapists work under veterinary referral or permission, which means they cannot treat until they have spoken to your vet.
If you arrange an appointment through your Animal Physiotherapist, they will send a form to be signed by your veterinarian to say there is no reason they can see that would mean Animal Physiotherapy is not appropriate.
The forms for Fleetfoot Animal Physiotherapy can be requested via email, which is found in our “Contact” page. There are forms for both you as an owner, and the veterinarian. Please ensure all forms are completed before your appointment.
Does insurance cover this?
You may have to check with your insurance provider, but for the most part, yes!
The exact cover varies between providers. Your copy of your policy should outline this.
Anything else I should know?
Animal Physiotherapists often work with a variety of professionals, and may at times suggest someone more suitable so your animal can get the best care.
As Animal Physiotherapists cannot diagnose, we will often refer you back to your veterinarian if we spot something that is beyond our scope, or wasn’t noted before the appointment.
If, during your appointment, you are unsure of an explanation or what a particularly piece of equipment is, we encourage you to ask.
Please feel free to call your Animal Physiotherapist at any time if you have any questions or concerns regarding Animal Physiotherapy!