As a physio I am unable to treat your pet without the consent of your vet. Why? You may ask. Well there are a variety of reasons and all are for the best interests of your pet.
Firstly, I have to abide by the Veterinary Surgeon’s Act (1966) which is a document that provides guidance on the treatment of animals and forms a professional code of conduct for vets. This document specifies what is classed as veterinary surgery and what procedures can be carried out by certain individuals.
The section applying to physiotherapy states:
19.12 The Veterinary Surgery (Exemptions) Order 1962 allows for the treatment of animals by physiotherapy, provided that the animal has first been seen by a veterinary surgeon who has diagnosed the condition and decided that it should be treated by physiotherapy under his/her direction.
19.13 'Physiotherapy' is interpreted as including all kinds of manipulative therapy. It therefore includes osteopathy and chiropractic but would not, for example, include acupuncture or aromatherapy.
Secondly, by gaining this permission I am able to liaise with your vet in order to provide a treatment plan for your pet. This may involve accessing your pet’s veterinary history that is relevant to their condition and sending your vet regular reports to update on progress.
In some cases animals may suffer from conditions that mean that physiotherapy or certain aspects of physiotherapy are actually contraindicated. For example some electrotherapies should not be used if your pet has a metal implant or pacemaker.
Thirdly, your pet may suffer an illness or injury not related to the problem they were referred to the physiotherapist for during the course of treatments. In this instance the physiotherapist may refer you back to your vet for diagnosis or speak to your vet regarding the condition before performing further treatments.
If you feel that your pet would benefit from physiotherapy assessment and treatment you can find a physiotherapist and ask your vet to refer you to them or ask your vet for a physiotherapist they recommend. In some cases such as after injury or surgery your vet may suggest physiotherapy to aid in the rehabilitation and recovery of your pet.
If you wish to get your pet treated please download the veterinary referral form and send it to your vet for approval. Most vets do not charge for this as they understand the benefits of physiotherapy for your pet.