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At the Vet

Welcome Vets & Nurses!

Are you interested in utilising a physiotherapist for a case but you're not sure whom to refer to or what cases would benefit? See below for an outline of the legal requirements of a veterinary physiotherapist alongside why Claire Johnston of Tails Therapy is a reliable, qualified and trustworthy practitioner to utilise.


If you have any questions please email and Claire would be happy to give you a call to discuss any cases you believe may benefit from a referral.

What Cases Can Benefit From Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy can be used to treat animals with soft tissue dysfunction, tendon and ligament issues, abnormal gaits, muscle weakness, joint disorders, neurological disorders, orthopaedic pre and post-op, palliative care to aid in slowing the effects of cognitive decline and more. A report and summary will be emailed to you following an initial assessment, alongside updates following regular treatment. Animals will be referred back to you if any new conditions or lameness appears during a session, with a report outlining areas that may need investigating.

Services available

Full body soft tissue, orthopaedic and neurological assessment

Home environment assessment

Deep tissue massage

Fascial release

Joint mobilisations

Remedial exercises and stretches

Therapeutic Ultrasound

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy


If you would like to discuss physiotherapy services email

to request a call back.

Tails Therapy offers 10% OFF deep tissue massage treatments to veterinary professionals.

Enquire today to get your practice booked in!

Legal Requirements of a Veterinary Physiotherapist

Veterinary Surgeons Exemptions Order (2015)

  1. Animals cared for or treated by musculoskeletal therapists must be registered with a veterinary surgeon and therapists are required to work under the direction of a qualified veterinary surgeon who has examined the animal and has prescribed physiotherapy as a treatment.

    1. Practitioners must be over the age of 18

    2. The delegating veterinary surgeon should check for membership in a voluntary register with associated standards of education and conduct, supported by a disciplinary process. 

  2. Musculoskeletal maintenance care for a healthy animal does not require delegation by a veterinary surgeon.

    1. However, the animal must still be registered with a veterinary surgeon.

    2. Maintenance should cease and the animal must be referred back to the vet at the first sign that there may be any underlying injury, disease or pathology.

    3. The client will also sign a formal consent to allow the therapist to disclose any concerns to the veterinary surgeon that has their animal under their care.​​

  3. A musculoskeletal assessment does not require a referral, only the treatment of an existing condition, however as the therapist will aim to treat in the same session as the assessment, a referral will be required.

    1. If the animal presents with an abnormality, lameness or condition within a session that hasn't been mentioned by the referring veterinary surgeon, the therapist will cease all treatments until the animal has been seen by a vet.

For more information: RCVS - Physiotherapy Regulations

Plumpton College

(Royal Agricultural University)


First Class Honours - BSc Hon(s) Veterinary Physiotherapy

An extensive three year degree with 300 hours of hands on training, assessment and treatment, focussing on a thorough understanding of equine and small animal:

  • Anatomy

  • Gait/Biomechanics

  • Posture

  • Special Testing 

  • Orthopaedics

  • Neurology

  • Remedial Exercise Prescription

  • Soft tissue/connective tissue/joint mobilisation therapy 

  • Electrophysical agents such as Therapeutic Ultrasound and Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy.

The Institute of Registered Veterinary & Animal Physiotherapists

Animal Health Professions' Register


The IRVAP Code of Practice sets a clear benchmark and expectation of all of its members (full members, associate members, ICH members and student members).

The Code reflects the legal, professional, ethical and organisational requirements members are responsible to meet in their conduct and practice.

Registration with IRVAP coupled with endorsing the shared values of the animal therapy profession empowers the Code of Practice to raise standards, increase public protection and promote the best possible service for animals and their owners.

See IRVAP's website for more information.

Membership of the AHPR is open to those professions who provide services for the treatment of animals under veterinary referral and for the maintenance of health. Those professions providing treatment are required to base practice on evidence based therapies and clinical reasoning, as well as any therapies for which the benefits are observable and measurable.


All registrants who provide treatment for the musculoskeletal system of an animal work with full adherence to the Veterinary Surgery (Exemptions) Order 2015 and only treat animals following veterinary referral, with veterinary permission, or with the knowledge of the consulting veterinary surgeon.

See AHPR's website for more information

Progressive Equine Partnership

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Founded in 2021, Progressive Equine Partnerships (PEP) is a global organisation dedicated to recognising and building a network of Equine Professionals and Establishments who are moving away from tradition and putting the welfare of the equine at the forefront of their practices.


Progressive Equine Partnerships strive to include all professionals in their directory who demonstrate unwavering commitment to improving equine welfare.

See PEP's website for more information

What is a Chartered Veterinary Physiotherapist?

There is currently no charter for animal physiotherapists, so to become a Chartered Physiotherapist, a BSc Human Physiotherapy degree is undertaken. After achieving this degree, a chartered physiotherapist can undertake a postgraduate training programme or Masters in Veterinary Physiotherapy.

The use of the word Chartered (ACPAT) used to be the only way to guarantee a veterinary physiotherapist had undertaken degree level training in physiotherapy, however over the last decade degrees have been specifically designed to allow students to focus solely on animal rehabilitation, meaning that fully qualified veterinary physiotherapists can now be identified with the registers IRVAP, NAVP or IAAT. This can be done either as an Undergraduate Degree, Postgraduate Diploma or Masters Degree.

Claire Johnston of Tails Therapy undertook an intensive undergraduate degree in veterinary physiotherapy with the Royal Agricultural University, and so she is not a chartered physiotherapist, yet she holds a Level 6 BSc Hons in Veterinary Physiotherapy and is fully qualified, insured and registered with IRVAP, if you have any questions please email​

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