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How to Become an Animal Physio

So many of you have asked how I got into veterinary physiotherapy, well here goes…

I was always that kid who was nagging their parents for a dog or horse riding lessons, after 4 years of badgering I finally started horse riding lessons at 12 years old (bit late to the party I know!).

5 years later when I was deciding what to do with my life, or as some people call it where to go to university, I knew I wanted to work with animals, but how? I’d only been riding of 5 years, I had no other pets (despite all the nagging) I didn’t feel like I had an option to work with animals unless I became a vet. I did 4 A levels (maths, biology, chemistry and psychology) and got good grades (A and B’s).

I applied to vet school, needless to say, I didn’t get in! So I took a gap year started doing more work experience and realised that what really interested me was animal locomotion and treating the cause of animals pain not just masking the pain with drugs but actually getting to the root cause of the pain and fixing the underlying issues.

Instead of going to vet school, I decided to do an undergraduate degree in Bioveterinary Science at the University of Lincoln. I continued my work experience at my local riding for the disabled, kennels, hydrotherapy centres etc. And applied to Writtle University College to study a masters degree in Veterinary Physiotherapy and guess what? I got in!

Then the real work began.

Studying to be a vet physio was so much harder than I thought it would be! Let me set the scene, I’m working part-time as a dog walker, I’ve just started a masters degree in something I’ve never studied and I’m travelling down to Essex each month to attend classes (I live in Huddersfield making it a 4-hour journey each way!). So I was stretched a little thin, to say the least, but I was determined that I would make this work.

In the first year, I attended classes each month and the rest of the work was done at home, easy right? If I thought that was hard, boy was I in for a shock year 2. Year 2 was intense! Classes two weekends a month, plus mountains of coursework and revision. Needless to say, this course is not for the faint-hearted!

Want to find out more? check out my training blog here

But I did it!

I’m now fully qualified after 5 years hard work and have 1 year left to complete my dissertation which is all done from home. Yay, no more 4-hour drives. I’m looking at the use of therapy in sporting and non-sporting dogs and whether this effects incidence of injury, if you'd like to know what I found check it out here.

Now I’m doing the really challenging bit for me… growing a client base. Getting new clients in the midst of a pandemic is not easy so please please share this post if you’ve found it at all interesting or perhaps entertaining would be a better word?

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