As per the Veterinary Surgeons (Exemptions) Order 2015, remedial treatment by ‘physiotherapy’ requires delegation by a veterinary surgeon who has first examined the animal. This means that in all cases where an animal is being seen for physiotherapy and/or hydrotherapy for the treatment of any clinical condition, injury or post-surgical rehabilitation, the animal must have a completed veterinary referral form signed by their veterinary surgeon before treatment can commence.
Under new regulations, physiotherapy for the purpose of maintenance in a healthy animal does not require delegation by a veterinary surgeon. However, the animal must still be registered with a veterinary surgeon. Maintenance must cease and the owner of the animal will be asked to take their animal to a veterinary surgeon for clinical examination at the first sign that there may be any underlying injury, disease or pathology. Alternatively, the physiotherapist may ask the client for formal consent to disclose any concerns to the veterinary surgeon that has their animal under their care.