What is Veterinary Physiotherapy?

Veterinary physiotherapy is a rapidly growing area in the veterinary field, used alongside veterinary medicine to provide animals with the best possible outcome following injury, surgery or disease. Physiotherapy can also be used for the sporting animals to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury.

Cow/Ruminant, Massage, Assessment

The easiest way to explain what veterinary physiotherapy is to say that its like human physiotherapy, but on animals. A lot of the treatment options and techniques used on animals are taken from human physiotherapy and adapted to make them more suitable for animals. Techniques and treatments used include manual therapies, like massage and stretching, electrotherapies, such as Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) and Red-Light Therapy, and remedial exercises, like pole work and wobble cushions. 

As an animal can’t tell us directly what is wrong and where it hurts, a veterinary physiotherapist has to really listen to the animal through assessment techniques, such as dynamic and static observations and palpation (feeling the bones and muscles), and what you as the owner have seen, and piece this all together like a jigsaw puzzle. We will then put together a tailored treatment plan, based on our findings and our rehabilitation goals, that provides your animal with the best outcome possible and meets their needs.

Physiotherapy and rehabilitation aims to:

  •  Reduce pain and improve overall comfort levels which increases quality of life
  •  Improve the rate of healing after injury or surgery, often providing a better quality heal
  • Enhance performance and athletic ability
  • Reduce the risk of injury through improving overall strength, fitness and mobility

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R E C Veterinary Physiotherapy works under strict referral from your veterinary surgeon. This means that we must have permission from your veterinary surgeon before we can perform any physiotherapeutic treatments.

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Which animals can benefit from veterinary physiotherapy?

Any animal can benefit from physiotherapy, great or small, pet or farm! At R E C Veterinary Physiotherapy, we understand that your animal is part large of your family, and so we pride ourselves on providing quality care to all animals. 

Please see our Canine, Equine and Ruminant pages for more details of how physiotherapy can help your animal


Physiotherapy can be extremely beneficial in recovery from common livestock conditions, including surgery, fractures, inflammation and recumbency. At R E C we aren’t just limited to ruminants, we are happy to treat any farm animal. 


Whether you have a top athlete or a happy hacker, physiotherapy can help improve your horse’s performance and comfort, whilst proving beneficial in increasing recovery from a wide range of equine conditions, including bone fractures and disorders, joint diseases and muscle and soft tissue injury.


Dogs and other small animals can benefit greatly from physiotherapy, whether it is recovery after surgery or injury, or improving the performance of sporting and working animals.
At R E C we don’t just stick to dogs, we are happy to treat any small animal, including rabbits and cats.