Veterinary Physiotherapy

The foundation of all veterinary physiotherapy work comes from a detailed understanding of canine and equine anatomy.  This allows us, as therapists to specifically target issue areas that are leading to altered movement patterns and pain.  In addition, body systems are linked meaning that an issue in one area of the body can lead to compensatory issues in another area, for example, hindlimb discomfort will lead to a reluctance to load the hindlimbs and therefore increasing the use of the forelimbs to compensate.  Therefore as a vet physiotherapist, we aim at treating both the primary issue and all compensatory issues with the use of electrotherapies, massage and remedial exercises.  







All veterinary physiotherapy appointments will begin with a history of the complaint being taken and an assessment of the animal both static and whilst moving in walk and trot to identify any specific areas to target during treatment.  


Veterinary physiotherapy sessions will comprise of an assessment, treatment and a rehabilitation plan that can be continued at home before the next visit.  Treatment can include the use of massage, electro-therapies and rehabilitation exercises as summarised below. 


Electro-therapies include:

  1. TENs- used for pain relief

  2. NMES- to increase muscle mass and strength

  3. Pulse electromagnet- reduces pain, alters circulation, increases fracture healing, increase neurological healing

  4. Laser/phototherapy- for wound healing, reduction of pain and reducing healing time 

  5. heat- to alter circulation and reduce pain and spasm including the use of the Epiony thermal wand

  6. cold- to alter circulation and reduce pain and spasm 


Rehabilitation exercises Canine:

  1. Stretches- increase muscle length and decrease pain

  2. Cavaletti- increase ROM, stride length and muscle mass

  3. Figure 8- increase ROM, lateral flexion and weight-bearing 

  4. Circles- increase ROM, lateral flexion and weight-bearing 

  5. Weight shifting- increase weight-bearing 

  6. Weaving- increase lateral flexion 

  7. Sit to stands- increase core strength and hindlimb muscle mass and ROM

  8. slow lead walking- increase hindlimb weight bearing 

Want more ideas? Download our How to 'Walk' your Dog Without Walking your Dog resource here! 

Rehabilitation exercises equine:

  1. stretches- increase muscle length and decrease pain

  2. cavaletti- increase ROM, stride length and muscle mass to find out more download our ultimate pole guide here

  3. circles- increase lateral flexion, ROM and muscle mass

  4. tail pulls- increase core strength, muscle mass and myofascial release

  5. ab lifts- increase core strength

  6. pelvic rounding- increase spinal flexibility

  7. lunging- increase lateral flexion, ROM and muscle mass

  8. long-reining- allows work in straight lines and out hacking 

  9. wither rocks- increase forelimb muscle mass  

  10. training aids- improve way of going and core strength 

Find out more about equine core exercises here.  

In our member's section, you can see videos of how these exercises are correctly performed.  It is important to ensure that all exercises are suitable for your animal by consulting your vet and physiotherapist before starting any of these exercises.  Additional information on both electrotherapies and remedial exercises can be found in the blog section.  

We often use vet physiotherapy in competition animals to ensure they are in peak condition.  If your new to competing or a seasoned competitor check out our Pre-competition checklists for dogs and horses to ensure you never miss a beat this competition season.