How To Get Your Dream Career In Veterinary Physiotherapy and Hydrotherapy

A groundbreaking qualification allows Veterinary Physiotherapists to provide therapeutic treatments on animals in water and on land

The pandemic has forced a wave of advances in education. It has proven that universities, colleges, and online learning providers can deliver high-quality education without the physical presence of a traditional classroom.

Universities are being forced to adapt to a safer covid19-safe learning environment, including providing tutor zoom calls, online assessments, and downloadable lectures. Awarding organisations that produce Ofqual regulated qualifications are starting to open to this idea too. They are starting to see investigate new opportunities to expand the education offering and enhance new courses, so they are accessible to all.

They are also taking a closer look at the pathways to certain qualified professional animal roles. This has provided a new opportunity to address some of the way animal professionals get qualified and ways we can train individuals more efficiently.

Before we dive deeper into the new world of education in Veterinary Physiotherapy, let’s look how it has worked in the past.
Previously, there were only a handful of ways to obtain a relevant qualification in Veterinary Physiotherapy. However, it is a long and winding road for many students, and embarking journey on this journey has traditionally taken two routes:

  1. First become a Chartered (Human) Physiotherapist

    Train as human physiotherapist and obtain the label ‘State Registered Physiotherapist’ This option takes several years of full-time study with clinical placements. Once a qualified member, you can then specialize in Veterinary or Animal Physiotherapy.

  1. Qualify directly in Veterinary Physiotherapy

    Study an undergraduate Bachelor of Science Course in BSc Veterinary Physiotherapy which takes on average 4 years. Or study a MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy and then study for a Postgraduate Diploma over several years.

    After successfully completing a qualification in Veterinary Physiotherapy, practising Physiotherapists are expected to provide proof that they are approved members of certain industry-led professional associations.

The four leading memberships are:

  • Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy
  • Institute of Registered Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapists
  • National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists
  • International Association of Animal Therapists

These associations will not accept a membership application unless there is evidence of a completed regulated qualification or degree in that field.

Why couldn’t Physiotherapist treat animals in water and on land?

Previously, Veterinary Physiotherapists would have to complete two separate qualifications to be able to treat animals both in water and on land.

What's more puzzling is that unless you're lucky enough to find someone who's completed professional training in both physiotherapy and hydrotherapy for animals.
Then two people would be hired to provide a full treatment plan for one animal - a trained Animal Hydrotherapist and a qualified Animal Physiotherapist. These professionals would have to work separately due to the strict animal legislations and guidelines on animal treatments and handling.

Luckily, the education system has made huge steps in this field and have accepted that the traditional methods are outdated. Thankfully, a new Ofqual regulated diploma is now available with two qualifications in one sitting. The combined Level 3 Diploma in Small Animal Hydrotherapy + The Level 6 Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy with Hydrotherapy course is first of its kind.

Allowing students to become both qualified Small Animal Hydrotherapists and Veterinary Physiotherapists without having to attend university. This is the first qualification that enables Veterinary Professionals to practice treatment on animals both in the water (hydrotherapy) and on land (physiotherapy).

The course allows flexible practical training (800 hours clinical practice) at the students preferred location, 25 days of practical training and assessments at a Canine Fitness school. And the course also features the bonus of hydrotherapy and aquatic treadmill training with 6 days of hands-on training.

The theory elements of this course can be studied online, providing a new point of entry for learners and flexibility in how, when and where they study.

This course contains two qualifications, both regulated by Ofqual.

Upon completion, students will be awarded a Level 3 Diploma in Small Animal Hydrotherapy (Ofqual code: 603/4410/6) , and a Level 6 Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy (Ofqual code: 603/7725/2) which is the equivalent of a degree. This course is currently available to enrol online and available to purchase in monthly instalments to spread out the cost of payments. This course is available to study with the largest animal course provider, Animal Courses Direct. Animal Courses Direct has been awarded the Accredited Educational Provider status (AEP) status by the Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners (RAMP).

Meaning that successful students can register with RAMP a as qualified Veterinary Physiotherapists without further training. Previously, this option was only available for university and masters’ students. Students can also apply as a member as a qualified Hydrotherapist at the Canine Hydrotherapy Association (CHA) and the International Association of Animal Therapists (IAAT) once they have completed this qualification.

What if I am already an Animal Hydrotherapist?

Qualified Animal Hydrotherapists can also fast-track with training in Veterinary Physiotherapy.
The Level 6 Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy with Hydrotherapy can also be studied by those who have a Level 3 Diploma in Hydrotherapy (including treadmill unit – with either ABC/SEG, Open College Network West Midlands or OCN London) and prior experience within the industry. The minimum age for learners is 18 and students must be able to access and travel to veterinary physiotherapy clinics, canine fitness centers and small animal hydrotherapy centres In the UK for the mandatory practical training.

Visit the website for more information or call the direct line on 01202 006 040.

About The Author
This is a guest post by Alexandra Pietraszko of Animal Courses Direct

Find out more about other natural animal therapies here at Taranet. Or read other articles in this Natural Pet Health Blog. Take a look at the sitemap here to explore!