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Animal Physical Therapy

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    Internationally Accredited by ICOES
    Fully CPD/CE Certified
    Instant Free PDF Certificate
    Recommended by 95% of Students
    24/7 Access
    7522 Students Enrolled

    Meet the expert


    About the course

    When your furball is injured, you would do anything to help. You want to relieve the pain. It hurts to see them limping or walking stiffly, agonizingly slowly.

    What’s the best way to help? How can you put the spring back in your pet’s step

    Animal physical therapy is a hands-on, natural rehabilitation treatment to get those muscles and limbs working again. In this online course, you will see how physiotherapy uses physical methods - massage and exercise  -  to restore lost movement.

    You’ll be shown the correct techniques to treat different parts of the body. Enjoy quality, hands-on time with your dog or cat as you massage away pain and exercise limbs to restore strength.

    Confidently complement the work of your vet or animal physiotherapist to offer at-home treatments for your own pets to ease:

    • arthritis
    • sore muscles
    • back problems
    • knees, elbows and other limbs
    • hip dysplasia
    • recovery after surgery
    • stiffness in older pets

     It’s fun for both of you and helps your furball feel better. We will walk you through everything you need to know about Animal Physical Therapy in easy-to-understand, jargon-free language.

    For immediate, natural relief for pets, study this course now.

    What you will learn

    The skills you will master in this course include:

    • How to improve the mobility of specific joints (such as the elbow, hip, or knee) in a safe and sympathetic way
    • Reading the signs of pain in cats and dogs
    • Learning gentle exercises appropriate for animals with stiff joints due to conditions such as arthritis or an old injury (Working with the co-operation of your vet.)
    • Learn specific exercises for specific joints
    • Hints and tips for how to help your older pet moving around the home with more confidence, using ramps and assistive devices.
    • How to perform massage techniques on your pet to build muscle strength and help them relax. This includes effleurage, kneading, percussion, and also passive movement exercises
    • Knowing when physiotherapy could help your pet and recognizing when to avoid it
    • Learn easy and enjoyable exercises you can do at home to build your pet’s strength whilst having fun together
    • Know how to use heat therapy to relieve the nagging pain of a sore joint
    • Understand which nutritional supplements are most beneficial to your pet
    • Have an improved knowledge of dog anatomy
    • Know how and when to get your pet referred to a veterinary physiotherapist


    International Open Academy courses are designed for anyone with an interest in learning. No formal qualifications are required to study with us. Our courses are suitable if you want to learn new skills, start a new career, or if you’re already working in a particular industry and wish to upgrade your talents and enhance your resume.


    Course Breakdown

    Module 1: Introduction
    • 1.1 Benefits of physiotherapy
    • 1.2 Aims of this course
    • 1.3 Disclaimers and contra-indications to home physio
    • 1.4 What you’ll learn
    • 1.5 Case studies
    Module 2: Physiotherapy
    • 2.1 Tissue response to injury
    • 2.2 Reasons to use physiotherapy
    • 2.3 Types of therapy
    • 2.4 Therapy which can be done at home
    Module 3: Anatomy For Physiotherapy
    • 3.1 Why learn anatomy for physiotherapy?
    • 3.2 Instructional words
    • 3.3 The name of things
    • 3.4 Fore-limp
    • 3.5 Hind-limp
    • 3.6 Head and neck
    • 3.7 Back
    Module 4: Physio And Your Pet – Assessment
    • 4.1 Principles of Physiology
    • 4.2 Arthritis
    • 4.3 Conditioning after surgical rest
    • 4.4 Elbow problems
    • 4.5 General stiffness
    • 4.6 Hip dysplasia
    • 4.7 Knee problems
    • 4.8 Neck and back problems
    • 4.9 Sore muscles
    • 4.10 Older pets
    Module 5: Physio And Your Pet – Action
    • 5.1 Massage
    • 5.2 Joint Movements
    • 5.3 Therapeutic exercise
    • 5.4 Heat Therapy
    Module 6: The Bigger Picture
    • 6.1 Assistive devices
    • 6.2 Nutritional supplements
    • 6.3 Pain relief
    • 6.4 Partnership with veterinary professional


    Who is this course for

    This course is a perfect match for you if:

    • You have an stiff, older pet or one recovering after enforced rest, and you want to help them get back on their paws
    • You are curious about different forms of physiotherapy, such as massage, hydrotherapy, passive movement, and heat; their benefits, how they work, and how they help the body to heal
    • You want to understand about nutritional supplements that improve and protect joint health, and keep your pet supple in years to come.
    • You want to learn safe exercises to do at home that are fun and improve your pet’s quality of life
    • You want to understand what a veterinary physiotherapist is, when it’s appropriate to consult one, and how to go about getting referred
    • You wonder if your pet is in pain and want to recognize the signs in your cat or dog

    Career path

    Candidates with an interest in working with animals

    Anyone interested in a career in veterinary medicine or animal care

    Those interested in owning animals, volunteering at animal shelters, or fostering animals.

    Existing animal care workers in pursuit of promotion

    Those seeking to improve the lives of senior pets


    Certification details

    To receive certification, you must:

    1. Complete every page of the course
    2. Score at least 55% on the exam at the end of the course
    3. That's it!

    After successfully completing the course, you will immediately receive your PDF course certificate so you can instantly add it to your CV and display your achievement. You can also request a hard copy certificate to be sent to your postal address for a small printing and posting fee.

    All our courses are accredited by the International Council for Online Educational Standards - www.icoes.org (accreditation number ICOES/00763/13/36). Most of our courses will earn you credits through Continuing Professional Development (CPD) / Continuing Education (CE). Check for the CPD logo on the course page.

    CPD points are accepted and recognized by employers from both the public and private sectors, and academic institutions across the UK and internationally.

    International Open Academy is also an officially approved TQUK (Training Qualifications UK) center, with the TQUK Center Number: C001157

    TQUK is a national awarding body recognized by the UK Government and regulated by Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation).

    For further details, please visit https://internationalopenacademy.com/accreditation

    Disclaimer: This course is intended to be a short introduction to animal physical therapy and is designed to help pet owners improve the quality of their pets' lives. It is not a professional qualification and is not intended to replace professional qualification for physical therapists. The course will not prepare students to treat any serious veterinary conditions. Completion of the course does not imply membership of any professional body nor does it entitle students to use the title Animal Physical Therapist.