WHAT IS ANIMAL PHYSIOTHERAPY?
Animal physiotherapy is a field of physiotherapy. Physiotherapy is a four year honours degree obtained from a recognized university. Practicing physiotherapists, whether treating humans, animals or both, are required to register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). The terms physiotherapy, physical therapy and physio are protected professional titles and are reserved for those who hold the above qualification.
The field of animal physiotherapy is rapidly advancing worldwide. Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States are involved in ongoing research and development in animal physiotherapy. South Africa was one of the first countries to establish an official special interest group of qualified physiotherapists who were interested in treating animals. This group, the Animal Physiotherapy Group of South Africa (APGSA), is run under the auspices of the South African Society of Physiotherapy (SASP) and all its members hold a recognised degree in physiotherapy. For the past 12 years members of the APGSA have been involved in treating animal patients under veterinary referral using physiotherapeutic techniques and modalities. Over the years various members have traveled overseas to attend conferences, courses, seminars and to obtain further qualifications specifically in animal physiotherapy. Locally we hold an annual conference for physiotherapists interested in the field of animal physiotherapy.