Does the physiotherapist need to be human trained?
No, animal therapists do not require human training prior to undertaking training as an animal physiotherapist, although generally students are required to hold a first degree in an animal subject for post graduate study. Similar to veterinary surgeons, and equine dentists, human training is not a pre-requisite.
How long will the treatment last?
You will need to allow 60-90 minutes for your first consultation, and about 60 minutes for each treatment session.
What happens if I need to cancel/or I am unable to make the appointment?
I appreciate that last minute problems can mean that you have to cancel or miss an appointment. If possible, please inform at least 48 hours prior to cancellation of appointment. If you are unable to inform us 48 hours prior to appointment, please be advised that I will charge 50% of your appointment fee. We would all like to avoid this scenario, so please try and rearrange your appointment in advance.
What can I expect on the day of physiotherapy treatment?
On arrival, the physiotherapist will discuss your animal's case history with you, and will request to see the animal at rest and in motion. This may involve the animal walking, and trotting on even flat ground. Therefore, please be prepared to trot your animal up and down, or arrange for someone else to do this for you.
After the animal has been seen in motion, the physiotherapist will conduct an all over body assessment, this will involve palpation of muscles and checking range of motion in joints. Once this has been conducted, a treatment plan will be discussed, and what equipment etc will be used during the treatment and, if necessary, a home programme can be given for you to perform. Please feel free to ask questions, and the physiotherapist will also supply you with a relevant information sheet.
It helps to obtain a full history from you, the owner, and this may include questions such as
1. Has the animal had an injury?
2. Has their behaviour changed?
3. When was the saddle last checked?
4. Is there an issue with transitions or stiffness on one side etc?
5.Has the vet diagnosed a condition/lameness or joint issues?
6. Have you seen a significant reduction in muscle wastage or increase in muscle mass in one area?
7. Does the horse react when you put the saddle on, or tighten the girth?
8. What is your normal exercise regime?
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Why do I need to provide a veterinary referral form?
It is a legal requirement that all work is conducted with the approval of your veterinary surgeon. Please can you ensure the form is completed prior to booking an appointment.
What to expect after treatment?
The aim of the physiotherapist is to identify the underlying problem to prevent recurrence, this holistic approach ensures that physiotherapists provide not just a quick fix but offer a long term solution. Therefore, I generally advise a benchmark of 4 - 6 sessions (this will be dependent on the issue) to thoroughly address all the issues, and allow time for the healing process to occur.
After treatment, I generally recommend a few days of rest for the animal to allow the treatment to take effect. The animal may feel/look worse before it starts to feel better and this is generally normal behaviour, but if you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us for further advice.
How to book an appointment?
Booking your appointment is easy, and bookings can be made by either the referring veterinary practice or the owner, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact page.
How many treatments will my animal need?
I understand that the cost implications of providing your animal with physiotherapy can be a concern for many owners. Bearing this in mind, the physiotherapist will usually recommend a treatment schedule of 6 sessions and hope to see an improvement after 3 treatments. This can vary depending on the problem and this will be discussed further with the owner if a longer treatment schedule is required.
Should my animal have a maintenance treatment during non-competing season?
Yes, it is extremely beneficial for your animal to receive maintenance treatment when not competing and provides a chance for physiotherapist to assess and treat any problem areas prior to competition season starting.
Does the owner, need to be present when physiotherapist is treating my animal?
It is important that an owner is present to be able to supply physiotherapist with case history and relevant information relating to the animal. It can be very informative for an owner as the physiotherapist will be able to answer any questions you may have, and explain what is happening during examination and treatment. In addition, if a home programme is recommended and the owner will need to know how/when to perform the prescribed exercises.
Animals that are competing or working will be placing additional strain on their joints and muscles. It is important to ensure that your animal is fit and healthy prior to undertaking any discipline, and continued checks throughout your training can be undertaken by a physiotherapist to ensure muscle symmetry and balance. Your physiotherapist can devise a conditioning and strengthening programme for your animal to provide core stability, enhance proprioception and balance which will all help when your animal is competing or working.