I am a Chartered Physiotherapist and Veterinary Physiotherapist, having first qualified as a human physiotherapist and then as a Veterinary Physiotherapist through the University of Liverpool’s Veterinary Physiotherapy Masters Programme.
I qualified as a Physiotherapist in 1987 and have worked in both the NHS and the private sector in the UK and Australia. My specialist area of human practice is paediatrics, particularly long term developmental disability and postural care.
I find there is a huge carry over from my children’s physiotherapy experience into veterinary physiotherapy. My human clients can often not point or tell me where it hurts so I have become skilled in picking up subtle clues. A whole body and whole life approach is essential when dealing with complex disability and I use the same approach when assessing and treating an animal. In addition the movement and postural analysis skills used with humans are essential and also applied to the animal patient. Most of all I am skilled at working through a parent or owner and equipping them with the confidence, knowledge and skills to carry out a physiotherapy programme or management plan that will make a difference to their child or animal every day.
Outside physiotherapy I am an assistant trainer with “The Tailwagger Club” dog training organisation. I am fascinated by canine behaviour and learning and have taken several courses including “Learn to Talk Dog – Canine Body Language” , “Dog to Dog Interaction” and An Introduction to Tellington T-Touch to complement my veterinary physiotherapy studies. I have an interest in dog sports and am currently training my youngest dog to take part in agility.
About Physiotherapy and Veterinary Physiotherapy
Physiotherapists are health professionals who address their patient’s needs by means of physical treatment as opposed to medical or surgical treatment. They work in almost every field of human health care as part of the multidisciplinary team both within hospitals and community settings and have a key role in both preventing, managing and treating a huge range of health conditions.
The term Physiotherapist is protected meaning only properly qualified and regulated professionals can use the title Physiotherapist. In the UK human Physiotherapists are regulated by the Health Care and Professions Council (HCPC) and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP). They are called Chartered Physiotherapists and are bound by strict standards of care and professional codes of conduct.
The term Animal or Veterinary Physiotherapist is not a protected title meaning that anyone can use this title regardless of their qualifications (or lack of them). However, there are several training courses giving recognised qualifications in Veterinary Physiotherapy, not all of which require a human qualification first. Chartered Physiotherapists who have undergone further training ( Post Graduate Diploma or MSc) and qualified to treat animals are Category A members of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy (ACPAT) and adhere to strict standards of care and professional codes of conduct. They must participate in continuous professional development, use evidence based practice, work only with veterinary referral, and have correct and sufficient insurance cover.