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Veterinary physiotherapist Animal physiotherapist

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Veterinary physiotherapists work with injured animals, or animals with movement problems, to help reduce pain and improve their health.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,500 to £65,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll need one of the following:

  • a degree in veterinary physiotherapy
  • a degree in human physiotherapy approved by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and postgraduate training in veterinary physiotherapy
  • working knowledge of animal care, a relevant degree and the Canine and Equine Physiotherapy Training (CEPT) Advanced Certificate in Veterinary Physiotherapy

The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy (ACPAT)has more information on careers in veterinary physiotherapy.

The Institute of Registered Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapists (IRVAP) and the National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists (NAVP) have information on careers and training in animal physiotherapy.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent observation and communication skills
  • the ability to handle animals
  • organisational and administrative skills
  • the ability to work in a team and also use your own judgement

3. What you'll do

You'll carry out treatments on animals referred to you by a veterinary surgeon.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • planning exercise programmes
  • using manual and electro-therapy methods to reduce pain and help with movement
  • applying massage and hydrotherapy techniques
  • giving advice on changes to animals' environments

You'll treat pets, working animals, and farm or zoo animals.

You'll usually work in private practice, but you might also find work in large veterinary centres, universities or animal sports clinics.

You might also offer animal massage or hydrotherapy.

4. Salary

Starter: £18,500 to £19,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £25,000

Highly Experienced: up to £65,000 (senior physios and consultants)

Salaries vary. Self-employed veterinary physiotherapists charge £20 to £70 an hour.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Your hours will depend on your clients and their needs.

You'll carry out treatments in farm or stable yards, clients' homes, or in veterinary surgeries and hospitals.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a senior physiotherapist, or a specialist physiotherapist for breathing conditions or problems affecting the nervous system.

You could also set up your own animal physiotherapy practice or move into research.

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Last updated: 10 September 2018