Profession animal physiotherapist
Animal physiotherapists provide a therapeutic treatment following veterinary diagnosis or referral. They concentrate on the application of physical therapy and exercise procedures to support animal rehabilitation after a surgery or an injury, aiming to return the animals to normal function and/or maintain performance inaccordance with national legislation.
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- Social / Investigative
- Animal welfare legislation
The legal boundaries, codes of professional conduct, national and EU regulatory frameworks and legal procedures of working with animals and living organisms, ensuring their welfare and health.
- Animal behaviour
The natural behavioural patterns of animals, i.e. how normal and abnormal behaviour might be expressed according to species, environment, human-animal interaction and occupation.
- Physiology of animals
The study of the mechanical, physical, bioelectrical and biochemical functioning of animals, their organs and their cells.
- Environmental enrichment for animals
Types, methods and use of enrichment for animals to allow the expression of natural behaviour, including the provision of environmental stimuli, feeding activities, puzzles, items for manipulation, social and training activities.
- Anatomy of animals
The study of animal body parts, their structure and dynamic relationships, on a level as demanded by the specific occupation.
- Biosecurity related to animals
Awareness of hygiene and bio-security measures when working with animals, including causes, transmission and prevention of diseases and use of policies, materials and equipment.
- Signs of animal illness
Physical, behavioural and environmental signs of health and ill health in various animals.
- Animal welfare
Universally recognized animal welfare needs as applied to species, situation and occupation. These are: need for a suitable environment need for a suitable diet need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns need to be housed with, or apart, from other animals need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.
- Protect health and safety when handling animals
Protect health and welfare of animals and their handlers.
- Assess the animal’s rehabilitation requirements
Assess the animal’s rehabilitation requirements in accordance with its current condition and according to referral from a veterinary surgeon, taking into account pre-existing health conditions e.g. diabetes, epilepsy and medication.
- Prepare animal therapy equipment
Ensure that animal therapy equipment is assembled and prepared for use, including personal protective equipment.'
- Manage animal welfare
Plan, manage and evaluate the application of the five universally recognised animal welfare needs as appropriate to species, situation and own occupation.
- Monitor the welfare of animals
Monitor animals’ physical condition and behaviour and report any concerns or unexpected changes, including signs of health or ill-health, appearance, condition of the animals' accommodation, intake of food and water and environmental conditions.
- Plan physical rehabilitation of animals
Develop a plan for the handling of animals undergoing physical rehabilitation treatment, considering: age, species, breed, temperament, surroundings, prior experiences, owner’s influence, current health status, clinical history, prescribed drugs and their effects, reason for referral for rehabilitation treatment, external influences including interaction with humans and other animals, and welfare requirements. Formulate a rehabilitation treatment plan, following referral from a veterinary surgeon.
- Apply safe work practices in a veterinary setting
Apply safe work practices in a veterinary setting in order to identify hazards and associated risks so as to prevent accidents or incidents. This includes injury from animals, zoonotic diseases, chemicals, equipment and work environments.
- Manage personal professional development
Take responsibility for lifelong learning and continuous professional development. Engage in learning to support and update professional competence. Identify priority areas for professional development based on reflection about own practice and through contact with peers and stakeholders.
- Use physiotherapy for treatment of animals
Adapt human physical therapy techniques to increase function and mobility of joints and muscles in animals. The goal of physical therapy for animals is to improve quality of life and decrease pain. Cooperate with veterinarians and owners to design a physiotherapy treatment and care package.
- Deal with challenging people
Work safely and communicate effectively with individuals and groups of people who are in challenging circumstances. This would include recognition of signs of aggression, distress, threatening and how to address them to promote personal safety and that of others.
- Manage animal biosecurity
Plan and use appropriate biosafety measures to prevent transmission of diseases and ensure effective overall biosecurity. Maintain and follow biosecurity procedures and infection control when working with animals, including recognising potential health issues and taking appropriate action, communicating site hygiene control measures and biosecurity procedures, as well as reporting to others.
- Manage animal hygiene
Plan and use appropriate hygiene measures to prevent transmission of diseases and ensure an effective overall hygiene. Maintain and follow hygiene procedures and regulations when working with animals, communicate site hygiene controls and protocols to others. Manage the safe disposal of waste according to destination and local regulations.
- Handle veterinary emergencies
Handle unforeseen incidents concerning animals and circumstances which call for urgent action in an appropriate professional manner.
- Advise on animal welfare
Prepare and provide information to individuals or groups of people on how to promote the health and well-being of animals, and how risks to animal health and welfare may be reduced. Provide recommendations for corrective actions.