International Association of Animal Therapists

Animal Osteopathy

Osteopathy has been an integral part of traditional medical health for many years, however, it wasn’t until the 20th century that individuals began to integrate animal work into clinical practice. From here the first referral clinics were set up.

Osteopathy looks at assisting the body to maintain or return to a normal functioning unit. Where an injury may be thought to affect just one part of the body, it is surprising how an animal will alter movement and behaviour to cope. A horse is a prey animal and therefore instinct dictates that they carry on regardless to escape danger. A dog however will either remove itself from the pack or hide injury as to not appear weak.

When looking at a patient, it is noted how they are physically coping. Can it move freely and can it comfortably achieve all it needs to survive? With the aid of diagnostic techniques such as radiography, CT, MRI and thermography, realistic expectations and treatment plans can be designed.

Osteopaths typically treat problems such as joint strains, over use of certain areas of the body, trauma based injuries as well as age related wear and tear. Due to the nature of some cases, it is not uncommon for treatment to be carried out under sedation. Sedation enables the animal to fully relax, enough to allow meaningful changes to take place. Compensatory patterns can be unravelled, eventually returning them back to a normal way of moving.

Like all therapies, veterinary referral must be granted before treatment.