What is 'animal Physiotherapy'

Chartered Physiotherapists are trained to assess and treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal problems. Physiotherapy can be used for working, competition or racing animals to help them reach their full physical potential and avoid injury; most commonly it is used to help rehabilitate an animal following a trauma or surgical procedure and of course age-related deterioration. 

As a Physiotherapist I use many of the same techniques I would on a person! Techniques to mobilise joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons to help provide pain relief and restore normal function. The techniques used include soft tissue and joint mobilisation and manipulation, massage, myofascial release and trigger point release. Electrotherapy such as laser, ultrasound, and electrical muscle stimulation can be used in conjunction with manual therapy to enhance its effects.

Many animals require specific exercises to complete their rehabilitation, especially after surgery or a chronic musculoskeletal problem. An individual exercise programme is designed to help each animal to reach their full potential. 

I can also give advice on adaptations to your animals' environment that will help them perform tasks more easily. This can be especially helpful for older animals or for those who have recently had surgery.

Physio treatment can:
▪ Relieve pain and discomfort
▪ Rehabilitate and aid recovery after an operation
▪ Rehabilitate after injury or if not having an operation for an issue
▪ Prepare your dog weeks before an operation
▪ Help an old or arthritic dog be more comfortable and active
▪ Rehabilitate your dog after a neurological problem
▪ Enhance performance of a working or competing dog

Early physio following surgery aids recovery

Early intervention following surgery results in a quicker recovery and reduces the risk of complications.

Advice on how to help your pet recover

In many cases your physiotherapist will show you things to do at home to help your pet, such as massage, exercises and stretches.

Give your pet a new lease of life

To see a loved pet perform or do something they haven't done in years is always a joy to behold. We want the best for our pets and we will help this happen.

What is 'animal Physiotherapy'

Animals are unable to tell us they need treatment, so you may have noticed that they are not quite right, possibly limping on a walk or stiff when they get up. They may be paying more attention to a part of their body than usual. It is important that they are checked over first by your veterinary surgeon, who will then be able to refer them for physiotherapy.

Chartered Physiotherapists are trained to assess and treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal problems. Physiotherapy can be used for working, competition or racing animals to help them reach their full physical potential and avoid injury; most commonly it is used to help rehabilitate an animal following a trauma or surgical procedure and of course age-related deterioration. 

As a Physiotherapist I use many of the same techniques I would on a person! Techniques to mobilise joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons to help provide pain relief and restore normal function. The techniques used include soft tissue and joint mobilisation and manipulation, massage, myofascial release and trigger point release. Electrotherapy such as laser, ultrasound, and electrical muscle stimulation can be used in conjunction with manual therapy to enhance its effects.

Many animals require specific exercises to complete their rehabilitation, especially after surgery or a chronic musculoskeletal problem. An individual exercise programme is designed to help each animal to reach their full potential. I can also give advice on adaptations to your animals' environment that will help them perform tasks more easily. This can be especially helpful for older animals or for those who have recently had surgery.

Early physio following surgery aids recovery

Early intervention following surgery results in a quicker recovery and reduces the risk of complications.

Advice on how to help your pet recover

In many cases your physiotherapist will show you things to do at home to help your pet, such as massage, exercises and stretches.

Give your pet a new lease of life

To see a loved pet perform or do something they haven't done in years is always a joy to behold. We want the best for our pets and we will help this happen.

Kathryn Shapcott

Veterinary Physio ACPAT cat A

To speak to Kathryn call: 07795 144804

Email: kathryn@norfolk-animal-physio.co.uk

My practices are located:

Miramar Vets
Sheringham
NR26 8HF

Mon, Alt Wednesdays

Westover Vets
North Walsham
NR28 9AT

Alt Wednesdays, thu

KATHRYN SHAPCOTT BSc(Hons) Physio MCSP, Post Graduate Diploma in Veterinary Physio ACPAT cat A
“I qualified as a physiotherapist from Coventry University in 1994 and went on to work in a variety of settings within the NHS, GP surgeries and private practice. 
Having set up and run my own Clinic in Berkshire for 10 years, my family and I moved to Norfolk in 2010, to enjoy a quieter and more relaxed way of life.
Having always wanted to become an animal physio I followed my passion and trained at Hartpury College, University of Western England as a Veterinary Physio.
I am a Chartered Physiotherapist, registered with the Health Professions Council and a member of The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy (ACPAT) and I am recognised by all major health insurance companies.”

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the professional, educational and trade union body for the UK's 50,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotheraphy students and support workers

Can Animal Physio Help My Pet?

Animals are unable to tell us they need treatment, so you may have noticed that they are not quite right, possibly limping on a walk or stiff when they get up. They may be paying more attention to a part of their body than usual. It is important that they are checked over first by your veterinary surgeon, who will then be able to refer them for physiotherapy.

Canine Conditions Treated

Dogs are such a bundle of joy and fun to be with. It is upsetting to see them withdraw in pain and look to us to help them.

  1. Hip and elbow dysplasia / Fractures, trauma and soft tissue injuries
  2. Before and after orthopaedic surgery i.e cruciate surgery / Hip replacement / Reduced function stiffness and weakness in elderly animals.
  3. Obesity and weight management issues / Neurological conditions
More ...

Feline Conditions Treated

Cats are notorious for getting themselves in to trouble, curious by the nature the potential for getting injured is high.

  1. Arthritis / stiff painful joints / Muscle sprains / Tendon and ligament strains / Muscle contracture
  2. Fractures and dislocations / Nerve damage after road accidents / Limb amputation
  3. Infected open wounds / abscesses
More ...
vet referral

Vets Referral Form

Each animal will require a veterinary referral prior to assessment and treatment by Kathryn.
Please note:
* denotes mandatory field

Referral to an ACPAT Veterinary Physiotherapist from the veterinary surgeon is best done early on in the healing process because it is easier to prevent movement issues and to promote quality healing than it is to try to undo compromised tissues and movement strategies.

We are professional clinicians who work alongside the vets providing regular updates and discuss the next stages of rehabilitation.

As a Chartered Physiotherapist I have professional indemnity insurance for physiotherapy treatments. In making this referral, the vet is not responsible for any physiotherapy assessment or treatment given, and the provision of it is the responsibility of the Chartered Physiotherapist. You will be kept informed of said treatment.

Pet insurance companies cover physiotherapy by ACPAT physiotherapists.

How to refer: Either use my online vet referral form on www.norfolk-animal-physio.co.uk,– or call me 07795144804 or email me on kathryn@norfolk-animal-physio.co.uk with the client details and history, whichever is easiest for you.

Information on the form will NOT be used for marketing nor shared with any other person or organisation.

Vets Referral Form

If you are a vet, tap below to reveal the form which will assist your application.
Not for Owners use.

Tap to expand form


What to refer for Physiotherapy

  • Osteoarthritis.. the sooner the better!
  • Dogs and cats becoming increasingly stiff, taking longer to get up, stiffness evident after longer walks or play times.
  • Following surgery, orthopaedic (joint surgery, fractures, spinal surgery).
  • Soft tissue injury.
  • Cruciate tears – conservative, pre and post repair
  • Lameness which doesn’t have a clear cause on x-ray.
  • Sports injuries in sporting dogs – poor sporting performance
  • Lameness which hasn’t settled with NSAIDs and rest.
  • Skin lacerations, burns – physio helps with healing and scar tissue tightness.
  • Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy (CDRM)
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Femoral head and neck excision
  • Fibrocartilage Embolism
  • Fracture repair (from immediately post op)
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hip Replacement
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Muscle injury or strain
  • Obesity
  • Patella Luxation – conservative, pre and post op
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy and other neurological conditions affecting movement.
  • Tendon and Ligament injury

Owner's Details

Animal's Details

Vet's Details

Note by submitting this online form you give your consent:

I consent to this animal having a physiotherapy assessment and appropriate treatment.
I understand that the provision of professional indemnity insurance for this is the responsibility of Kathryn Shapcott.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need Vet permission?

Yes – it is a legal requirement for anyone treating any animal to have vets’ permission. This includes massage therapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, body workers – everyone. This is to ensure your animal receives the best treatment by having professionals work together to look after your animal.

Your vet will receive a report on the physiotherapy and the progress made through treatment. Some vets will give permission without seeing your animal and this depends on what is wrong with your pet.

Your vet can then contact me directly or fill in the referral form on my website

Will my pet insurance pay?

Most insurance companies will cover Physiotherapy from an ACPAT physiotherapist, however, each company is different and it will depend on your policy, and we advise you give them a call and check. It is common for your vet to fill out the claim form, but some companies require the physiotherapist to fill out part of the form, Please check with them, as this can slow down your repayment.

It is standard practice with all insurance companies that you pay your physiotherapist directly and then claim.

How do you take payment?

We can take cash payment or card and we use a service called GoCardless, which helps make payments quick and easy, ( see https://gocardless.com ).
Each payment is covered by a direct debit guarantee.

Do you travel to me?

Physiotherapy work is done from two different clinics. The Sheringham clinic is within the Miramar Veterinary Centre, and the North Walsham Clinic is in an outbuilding at the Westover Vetinary Clinic. There is a car park outside.

Due to time restrictions home visits are made on a case by case basis.

How many treatments will my animal need?

Every case needs an assessment before a program of treatment can be created. After receiving the referral form from your vet the case is assessed and we will let you know the likely number of treatments needed to resolve the issues found.

We aim to get you as involved as possible with home treatments to assist in a swift response and to help you with long term management, for example with osteoarthritis. Some issues can be sorted in one go but most things related to injury or an operation require from 3 to 10 treatments.

Long term conditions or performance management require regular treatments which could be from every 2 weeks to every 2 months.

All treatments can be adapted to your circumstances and we will fully discuss the options.

How much do you charge?

The current fees (2019-2020) are £45 per session, sessions last 30-60 mins and home visits,where appropriate are charged at £55

What animals do you treat?

Most work is with dogs and cats. Other animals that can be treated include rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, sheep, goats, llama, cows, pigs, and most zoo animals.

Is physio just like massage?

Physiotherapy treatment may include some massage techniques but as a Chartered Physiotherapist we have a wide variety of specialist therapy tools at our disposal.
Hands on treatment includes myofascial release, joint mobilisation, stretching, releasing stiff joints, trigger point therapy as well as many others.
Hands off treatments include electrotherapy such as therapeutic laser and pulsed magnetic therapy and therapeutic exercises.

Rehabilitation programs for you to follow at home are also an important part of physiotherapy as is the management of the animal and their environment.

Is physio and hydro the same thing?

Hydrotherapy, or the use of water baths or pools, is one form of treatment for physical issues. Chartered Physiotherapists receive training in Hydrotherapy in both human and animal world and some Physiotherapists have hydro pools or treadmills at their disposal.
We work closely with some fantastic local hydrotherapists if this is considered beneficial to ongoing care.

Hydrotherapy has the biggest impact once the quality of movement and function of the limb or back has been optimised by hands on treatment from your physiotherapist. In general hydrotherapy is very beneficial for muscle strengthening and at its best when we work together.

Physiotherapy as a whole will use many other treatment techniques as an option for your dog including hands on therapies, electrotherapeutic modalities and therapeutic exercise all in the same session.

We will give you homework exercises to do as well so that your dog can receive some beneficial therapy every day of the week not just when your physio is there or you are at hydro.

Why Choose a Chartered Physiotherapist

Why is it important that I choose a Chartered Physiotherapist?

A growing number of Chartered Physiotherapists now work with animals. Unlike the title 'Veterinary Surgeon' the title 'Animal or Veterinary Physiotherapist' is not protected. This means that anyone can call themselves an animal or veterinary physiotherapist regardless of their qualifications and it is best to check credentials.

The title 'Chartered Physiotherapist' is protected by law and can only be used by physiotherapists who have achieved a highest level of academic and practical training in all aspects of physiotherapy and are consequently qualified and registered to practice.

I have then gone on to enhance my skills with a Post graduate diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy at Hartpury College, Gloucester.

Note: Legislation stipulates that animals may only be treated by a Veterinary Surgeon or someone authorised by a Veterinary Surgeon. Members of ACPAT adhere to this requirement to safeguard the interest of the animal.

EXCELLENT !

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