Osteopathy for Animals
We regret that we do not yet have a separate page for osteopathic manipulation. However, it is covered for now under Chiropractic Manipulation.
Osteopathy is used in horses, ponies and in dogs and, more rarely, in cats.
Osteopathic manipulation (osteopathy) is a complementary treatment, in support of medical treatment and may perform a ‘stand-alone’ role in injury or disturbance of the musculo-skeletal system.
N.B. If using the services of an osteopath who is not a fully-qualified vet, ensure that the practitioner observes the provisions of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 and use a properly-qualified animal osteopath. That Act requires osteopaths to work at the specific request of and under the guidance or supervision of a veterinary surgeon.
Step 1 – Obtain a proper veterinary assessment and diagnosis. If this includes a full holistic assessment, so much the better.
Step 2 – Your vet is supposed to discuss the full range of treatment options with you. This may include Alternative Therapy and may include osteopathy. If neither is mentioned, yet you feel that you wish to explore the options, it is recommended that you should discuss the possibilities with your vet at the time of the visit. No vet should obstruct a referral of this nature.
N.B. You will find that your veterinary insurance may be invalidated if you use an unqualified practitioner or one who operates outside the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966. That Act provides that it is only manipulative therapies that may be performed on your animal by a non-vet. Even then, they must be applied on the specific recommendation of a vet and under his or her supervision. Physiotherapists are not permitted to prescribe and supply medicines (e.g. homeopathic) for an animal. Physiotherapists who might see your animal without having personally been recommended by your vet and without having received a direct and explicit referral and who function without veterinary supervision are operating outside the law.
It should be noted that animal therapists (chiropractors, osteopaths and physiotherapists), who are properly trained and qualified, are likely to be members of their respective professional bodies and should be covered by indemnity insurance, as are vets. This protects you, should anything go amiss. However, this is also likely to be negated if the therapist operates outside the terms of the Veterinary Surgeons Act (above).
Christopher D as a holistic vet generally supports the use of these therapies and refers appropriate cases for Physiotherapy. He is unable, however, to act as a convenience ‘cover’ for those who do not observe the provisions of the Veterinary Surgeons Act. Similar conditions apply for: Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Bowen Therapy, Tellington Touch (TTouch), Massage, Cranial Osteopathy, Craniosacral Therapy and Lymphatic Drainage.