Hi everybody, I would like to introduce you all to Hillfoot Veterinary Physiotherapy’s blog! Over the coming months I will add posts addressing frequently asked questions, common areas to address with your animals, hints and tips and discussing other interesting articles or ideas.
For this first post I would like to discuss the ongoing confusion around qualifications. As I’m sure you are all aware, there are a wide range of practitioners who offer ‘bodywork’ to your animals. I often get asked by owners what the difference is between us all, however very few people enquire into what my qualification is and what that means.
Unfortunately, the term ‘veterinary physiotherapist’ is not yet a protected title in the UK, meaning that anybody can (and do!) call themselves one. In addition there is a common theme that animal physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, massage therapists etc all seem to get put under the ‘physio’ banner by the animal world. Meaning that people referred to as ‘physios’ may be fully qualified practitioners, who have studied for years to a post graduate level, in order to gain the skills necessary to treat your animals and be part of an official professional body; or they could have completed a weekend long (or worse internet) course, which gave them a few basic massage skills.
I believe that there absolutely is a need for all qualified practitioners in the bodyworking field. However, I also believe that it is vitally important for you as owners to know the difference between us all, and therefore make informed decisions about which practitioners are most appropriate to treat your horse at different times. In an ideal world, all branches of practice would work together, each offering their own benefit to the client, to reach a best possible solution for you and your animals.
As far as my own qualifications go; I started my journey at the University of Lincoln with a BSc (Hons) in Equine Science. From there I completed an additional 2 years of post-graduate studying via CEPT, acquiring a level 7 advanced certificate in veterinary physiotherapy, which was accredited by the Middlesex University. I am also a fully insured member of IRVAP (Institute of Registered Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapists). As part of adhering to the IRVAP code of conduct I hold full indemnity insurance and complete extensive CPD every year, ensuring that I keep up to date with current practices and am constantly expanding my skills, allowing me to provide you and your animals with the best level of service I can.
So next time that you are having your animal treated, be sure that you know who is treating your animal and their qualifications, ensuring that your animal is getting cared for by a professional with the appropriate expertise. After all, our animals deserve the best 🙂 .