A veterinary physiotherapist works alongside veterinary surgeons in order to provide treatment and rehabilitation to help improve movement, reduce pain, restore muscle control and function and minimise the risk of injury for a range of animals, most commonly dogs and horses.
In day to day work you may; work closely with veterinary surgeons and animal owners, develop treatment plans on a case by case basis, safely and effectively carry out appropriate treatment using physiotherapy techniques and equipment.
Key Skills Required:
- Effective team work skills
- Remain calm under pressure
- Excellent communication skills
- Practical skills (animal handling)
- Management skills
- Interest in Animal Welfare
Key Points to Know:
- May be working indoors or outdoors in all weather conditions & some aspects of the job can get messy
- Physical fitness and good dexterity helps (there may be heavy lifting at times)
- Work hours tend to be flexible but you may be required to work unsociable hours e.g. evenings and weekends.
- A full driving license is beneficial as physiotherapists often travel to various locations.
To be a Veterinary Physiotherapist you will need to:
Study a Veterinary Physiotherapy degree – this is a 3-year full-time degree and entry requirement include 5 GCSEs at A* – C including English, Maths and Science, 2 A levels (or 4 AS levels) in relevant subjects or an L3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management achieved at MMM or higher.
Study a Human Physiotherapy degree followed by Veterinary Physiotherapy postgraduate training.
Complete a postgraduate level Advanced Certificate in Veterinary Physiotherapy.
Estimated average salary: £18,500 – £25,000 annually.
As a Veterinary Physiotherapist, you can anticipate employment in a variety of roles including:
- Vet practices
- Animal therapy centres
- Animal charities
- College or university as a lecturer
Being a Veterinary Physiotherapist will put you in a great position to set up your own business if desired. You can also go on to further study and specialise in a certain area e.g. a specialist physiotherapist in neurological conditions. As a Veterinary Physiotherapist, you will need to undertake CPD throughout your career to keep your skills and knowledge up to date.