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Animal Rehab

Animal Rehab

Physiotherapists all over Canada provide animal rehabilitation / physiotherapy services. These physiotherapists have taken additional training to learn anatomy, physiology, pathology and interventions applicable to your animal. Read more about animal rehabilitation below! If you’re looking for a clinic, go to find clinic or press the search icon in the menu.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not, and is not intended to be, medical or professional health advice. You should not use this information to diagnose, treat or make any health related decisions. Whether and how any of the information on this website applies to your circumstances requires the assistance of a medical professional. Contact a doctor or appropriate healthcare professional to address your medical concerns and diagnose or treat any medical problems. Do not rely on this information to make decisions about your health or medical issues. Read our Terms and Conditions of Use for more information on the limitation of our liability.

What is Animal Rehab?

Once a physiotherapist has acquired their license to work with humans, they may advance their practice by taking specialized training to work with animals. 

Canine and equestrian rehabilitation are the most common forms of animal rehabilitation from a physiotherapist.  Physiotherapists practicing animal rehabilitation apply the same concepts and theories as they would to a human.  They are trained at evaluating your animals, bones, joints, muscles and nervous system with specialized knowledge of animal movement, pathology and anatomy. Their goal is to identify the nature or cause of an injury and provide solutions to relieve pain and restore movement & function.

Physiotherapists practicing animal rehabilitation are also capable of performing manual therapy and using therapeutic modalities on animals.  Manual therapy refers to joint mobilizations and manipulations, soft tissue release techniques and other hands-on techniques to help restore movement and relieve pain.  Modalities refer to equipment/machines such as shockwave therapy, laser and dry needling techniques.

For more information, the Animal Rehabilitation Division of the CPA is an excellent resource of learn more about Animal Rehab from a physiotherapist.

1. Animal Rehabilitation Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (2019). About ARD. URL: Retrieved February 11,, 2019.

This article is not intended to be a literature review. References to scientific evidence may be provided to substantiate some information; however, this may not always be the case. For more information regarding scientific evidence pertaining to a specific treatment or service, speak with your physiotherapist or contact your provincial physiotherapy college.
Last updated Mar 21, 2020