What is Animal Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is not just for sporting and competition animals. It can have a beneficial effect on improving muscle tone, joint range of motion, symmetry and freedom from pain for animals of all abilities and disciplines. Demands on the musculoskeletal system arising out of their role and the environment in which they live and operate can result in muscle strain, aches, pain and injury. The intensity of work and competition, the ground conditions and varying surfaces on which they work, travelling requirements and restriction of movement on box and crate rest can also lead to soreness and stiffness.

Routine check ups

It is good practice as part of your routine health care to have your animal checked to ensure detection of small problems at an early stage and to prevent them becoming more serious. It will ensure your animal has a happy and healthy pain free life with a good range of movement.

Competition animals

The high intensity of work will put strain on their body and regular physiotherapy can improve performance, prevent injury and promote suppleness and mobility ensuring they are in peak fitness.

There are many signs that might indicate your animal requires physiotherapy

  • Changes in behaviour and temperament

  • Loss of performance

  • Poor transitions (Dog e.g. hopping when moving between gaits (walk to trot)) (Horses e.g. bucking, taking wrong lead on canter)

  • Poor impulsion and engagement

  • Lameness

  • Stiffness

  • Loss of lack of muscle development

  • Signs of pain (eye movement, ears pinned back

  • Tendon and ligament injuries

  • Neurological conditions

  • Osteoarthritis


  • Tension in the whole body when being touched

  • Walking more slowly

  • Greater difficulty in getting in and out of the car

  • Difficulty in raising from rest to stand

  • Uneven wear on claws and pads

  • Tension when pads are touched

  • Obsessive licking/cleaning of areas


  • Tension in the neck and back when saddling

  • Jumping issues

  • Saddle slip

  • Difficulty on one rein

  • Head tilt

  • Kissing spine