WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS OF EQUINE PHYSIOS?
The Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA), through its Animal Rehab Division, runs the equine rehab courses, ‘Introduction to the Equine Patient- Independent Study Course’, ‘Introduction to Equine Rehabilitation’, ‘Advanced Equine Rehabilitation’ and ‘Diploma in Equine Rehabilitation’. These courses can only be taken by physiotherapists as they already have the background knowledge in human anatomy and physiology and the practice skills in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of physiological conditions and injuries. The equine rehab courses are considered post-graduate courses which enable physiotherapists to use their knowledge base and skillset for the rehabilitation of equine patients.
IS EQUINE PHYSIO A REGULATED PROFESSION?
Physiotherapists are licensed and regulated by each province and territory in Canada and are upheld to follow specific ‘standards of practice’ and ‘ethical standards’. The terms, physiotherapy, physiotherapist, physical therapy and physical therapist are all protected for use by licensed professionals to work on humans. The term physio is used in relation to treating animal patients including equines and canines. Equine physio is fairly new in Canada and we are working hard to get it regulated in the same way we are regulated to work on humans. It is well established around the world including Europe, Great Britain, Australia, USA, and many other countries.
DO EQUINE PHYSIOS WORK WITH VETERINARIANS?
Yes. Physiotherapists already have good inter-disciplinary working skills with doctors and other health professionals when treating humans, and we want to have the same with veterinarians when working with animals. It is so important to the health of the animal that vets and physios work collaboratively towards a common goal. Veterinarians can refer an animal to see a physio, and likewise physios communicate with vets though the whole rehabilitation process.
ARE EQUINE PHYSIOS INSURED?
Yes, members of the Animal Rebab Division are eligible for full liability insurance through the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) insurance provider, BMS.