November 14, 2019

FAQ

Do I need my vets permission before you can treat my animal?
Yes – it is a legal requirement for anyone treating any animal to have vets permission. This includes massage therapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, body workers – everyone. It is also to ensure your animal receives the best treatment by having professionals work together to look after your animal. Your vet receives a report on the physiotherapy your animal receives and the progress through treatment. Some vets will give permission without seeing your animal – depends on what’s wrong so have a chat with them.
You can ask your vet to complete the online referral form via the website using the ‘Info for Vets’ tab or you can download a vet consent form from the Physio prices page  and ask your vet to sign it and then scan and email it to me. An appointment can only be made after I have received written veterinary consent to assess and treat your animal.

Do you travel to me?
Yes we travel to your home or yard. We find those places to be where your animal is most relaxed and happy and this helps the physiotherapy treatments to work. Or you can come to one of the clinics – see Physio venues page  for venues.

Will my animal’s insurance pay for physiotherapy?
Insurance: Most pet insurers cover physiotherapy treatment undertaken by an ACPAT Veterinary Physiotherapist. You should check with your insurance company directly prior to starting treatment to ensure that the costs will be met. You will pay the physiotherapist at each session, she will issue you with a receipt which you can keep to send along with a claim form to your pet insurance company. Some insurance companies require the physiotherapist to fill in the back of / vet part of the form and some still prefer the vet to complete this section so please check with your insurance company their preference else it could delay them paying you back your physiotherapy costs. Please note come companies have limits on cost and/or the number of treatments of physiotherapy they will refund you for, so please check the small print or directly with your insurance company.

Why should I choose a Chartered Physiotherapist?
Chartered Physiotherapists have had extensive training in the human physiotherapy field and are regulated by the CSP and HCPC to provide a high standard of therapy. We then do further masters level training to qualify as a Veterinary Physiotherapist and we are regulated to maintain a high standard of work and continued education by the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy(ACPAT). Physiotherapists are experts in mobilising joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons to help provide pain relief and restore normal function. We are trained in neurological issues and rehabilitation and athletic performance management. Anyone can call themselves an Animal or Veterinary Physiotherapist – by choosing to use a Chartered Physiotherapist you can be sure we have excellent training and will take good care of your animal. 

What animals do you treat?
Most of our work is with horse, dogs and cats and of course people. Other animals that can be treated include rabbits, sheep, goats, llama, cows.

How much do you charge?
Please see the prices page. Travel charges can be split between all clients in one place or we can adjust travel charges if your appointment fits in to when we are local to you visiting another client.  Physio prices page link

How do I pay you? 
You will pay the physiotherapist by cash or card on the day she treats  your animal. If you are claiming from insurance then she will give you a receipt to send through the claim to your insurance.

Is physio like massage?
Physiotherapy treatment may include massage techniques but as a Chartered Physiotherapist we have many therapy tools both using and not using our hands. Hands on treatment includes myofascial release, joint mobilisation, stretching, releasing stiff joints, trigger point therapy as well as others. Hands off treatments include electrotherapy such as therapeutic laser and pulsed magnetic therapy and therapeutic exercises. Rehabilitation programs for you to follow at home are also an important part of physiotherapy as is the management of the animal and their environment.

How many treatments will I or my animal need?
Every case needs an assessment before a program of treatment can be created. After  the physio has assessed she will let you know the likely number of treatments needed to resolve the issues I find. Some issues can be sorted in one go but most things related to injury or an operation require from 3 to 10 treatments. Long term conditions or performance management require regular treatments which could be from every 2 weeks to every 2 months. All can be adapted to you and your circumstances so speak to the physio about the options.

Can you put my horse’s back or pelvis back in when it’s “out”?
“out” is a word that is used to explain that a joint is not moving through it’s full range or not moving smoothly. This may be caused by muscle spasm, pain or joint stiffness. “out” does not mean the joint is out of it’s joint otherwise it would be dislocated and then the animal would be unable to move. Physios treat joints as well as muscles and will alleviate these types of problems and then prescribe an exercise that will help to maintain this good movement.

Is physio and hydro for my dog the same thing?

Hydrotherapy is one form of treatment for physical issues. Chartered Physiotherapists receive training in Hydrotherapy in both human and animal world and some Physiotherapists have hydro pools or treadmills at their disposal. Physiotherapy as a whole will use many other treatment techniques as an option for your dog including hands on therapies, electrotherapeutic modalities and therapeutic exercise all in the same session. As  Physiotherapists who do not directly use hydrotherapy ourselves, we work closely with hydrotherapy centres if that is a treatment you dog is having or needs to receive. In general hydrotherapy is very beneficial for muscle strengthening and it has the biggest impact once the quality of movement and use of the limb or back are optimised and at their best which is what we work on as Physiotherapists initially before strengthening. We will give you homework exercises to do as well so that your dog can receive some beneficial therapy every day of the week not just when your physio is there or  you are at hydro. See Hydrotherapy in more detail page.

Choosing Physiotherapy and or HydrotherapySee Hydrotherapy in more detail page.

In the story of rehabilitation and recovery, the body needs the following to return to good function:

  1. Little or no pain
  2. Good proprioception
  3. Good stability
  4. Muscle strength

Muscles strengthen quicker and with better functional quality when all the first 3 situations are well established. Both physios and hydrotherapists provide therapy that addresses all 4 of these areas but each have treatment options that bias some of these areas more than others.

Physiotherapy can address the first 3 (pain, proprioception and stability) on land with greater intensity and using a greater selection of therapy tools unique to your dog. This is appropriate from very early in the rehabilitation timeframe. Then Physios will give a controlled progressing exercise program to strengthen your dog’s muscles too.

Physiotherapist will also give you a home based rehabilitation and management program so you can continue your pet’s therapy to improve recovery each day – That’s 7 day a week therapy.

Hydrotherapy is a way to increase muscle strength and can help in reducing pain and swelling so that the dog is more keen to exercise. Your dog works his muscles harder against the resistance of the water and so increases strength and muscle bulk.

So using both physiotherapy and hydrotherapy may give your dog the best combination of therapy for his condition. It is often a good idea to select physiotherapy first to sort out the early stages of an issue and then perhaps hydrotherapy later on in the rehab process.