Veterinary PhysiotherapistJob Description:
Veterinary physiotherapists work with injured animals, or animals with movement problems, to help reduce pain and improve their health.Job Category:
What you will do:
On a day-to-day basis you could:
- attend clinics to see animals in need of physiotherapy after operations or an accident
- visit animals in zoos, farms and homes
- talk to owners and keepers to take the animal’s case history
- plan exercise programmes
- use manual and electro-therapy methods to reduce pain and help with movement
- apply massage and hydrotherapy techniques
- give advice on changes to animals’ environments
- write reports on the animal’s progress
- knowledge of psychology
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
As well as:
- the practical skills to handle animals
- a caring nature – this work takes lots of training, so you’ll need to genuinely care about healing animals
- to be keen to solve problems, as you may come across injuries you haven’t seen before
- customer service skills
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- analytical thinking skills
- sensitivity and understanding
- to enjoy working with other people (teamwork skills)
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- specialist courses run by private training organisations
You’ll need one of the following qualifications:
- a degree in veterinary physiotherapy
- a degree in human physiotherapy, and a postgraduate course in veterinary physiotherapy
- a postgraduate Certificate in Veterinary Physiotherapy
You could start by doing a physiotherapist degree apprenticeship. You could go on to complete a postgraduate award in veterinary physiotherapy.
You could train in animal massage or animal hydrotherapy, if you do not have a degree but want to work in a related area.
Working Hours and Environment:
A typical week consists of 38-40 hours of work. You could be required to work on call as customers demand.
You could work at a veterinary practice or at a university. Your working environment may be physically demanding. You may need to wear a uniform.
Career Path & 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.