Maintaining the standards of Animal Physiotherapy during Covid-19

Please scroll down the homepage for ACPAT's current stance and advice on animal physiotherapy provision during the Covid-19 pandemic

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Coronavirus advice to animal owners

ACPAT Statement on Animal Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Working Practices- UPDATED 02.11.2020

As we once again find ourselves in challenging times we would like to reassure the public we will continue to champion the value of animal physiotherapy & rehabilitation in our industry.

The Covid-19 situation across the UK is evolving and the crown dependencies have different restrictions/lockdowns in place. We advise you to become familiar with your respective dependency rulings and have included links below for reference:

Northern Ireland:

In line with the Government's announcement dated 31.10.2020 and subsequent statements from the BVA and the CSP, ACPAT are releasing the following guidance:

"As of the 5th November 2020, Animal Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation may still take place where there is a clinically reasoned need to maintain function, wellbeing and prevent deterioration or disability in animals. Where there is no clear, identifiable need treatment should be postponed or take place remotely as appropriate.

Any treatment which does take place must be in a Covid-safe manner. This will depend on each individual's situations; as examples, with small animal practice our members may still be disallowing clients into the clinic but handing over in the carpark. With home visits our members will be treating outside or in a separate room from the client whenever possible and always maintaining a 2m distance. With equine visits our members will be maintaining a 2m distance at all times from the client. They will be wearing PPE as risk assessed and dependent on their individual settings 

Please let our members know as soon as possible if you have potential Covid-19 symptoms, a recent positive covid test or are isolating for any other reason, our members will be doing the same should they find themselves in such circumstance. 

It is up to the clinician involved to make clinically reasoned judgements on the necessity of a face to face animal physiotherapy appointment, using risk assessments including consideration of movement of people and any environment they will be working in"

We repeat that ACPAT cannot make clinical decisions on behalf of its members; the clinical decision making and risk assessment process rests with the individual physiotherapist, who must decide for themselves whether to see a client face-to-face or not, and what measures need to be in place to do so. Please be patient with your respective Physiotherapist and any decisions they take regarding provision of animal physiotherapy services. They may have to alter and adapt their working practices to ensure they are working within the appropriate guidance frameworks.

ACPAT physiotherapy practices throughout the UK continue doing their best to ensure physiotherapy care is provided, whilst prioritising your safety and that of their teams.

The ACPAT Committee

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The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy (ACPAT) is a Professional Network Group of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and represents the interests of Chartered Physiotherapists working in Animal Therapy.

Our aim is to:

  • Be a dynamic and progressive organisation
  • Lead the field by raising standards of Animal Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation
  • Promote excellence through ongoing education & research
  • Support cohesion and development between Veterinary Medicine & Veterinary Rehabilitation

Animals, like people, respond to Physiotherapy. The purpose of physiotherapy is to restore and maintain mobility, function, independence and performance. From the management of joint or spinal problems to rehabilitation after fractures or any injury, animal physiotherapy is now considered an essential addition to medical and surgical treatment.

Animal Physiotherapy, also known veterinary physiotherapy, is used to treat and prevent a range of problems animals can experience. While no two species are exactly alike, neither are two animals of the same species emphasizing why it's so important to tailor the physiotherapy to the animal's specific needs.

Chartered Physiotherapists have specialist knowledge in anatomy, biomechanics, physiology and pathology. They use findings from detailed assessments to tailor treatments to each animal's condition and stage of the problem. ACPAT Physiotherapists can cover the treatment of domestic pets, horses, farm animals to even exotic pets and zoo animals.


All full members of ACPAT must be annually subscribing full practising members of the CSP. Those members practising physiotherapy on humans must be registered with the HCPC. Category A and Category B members are required to have Professional & Public Liability Indemnity in order to practise on animals.
There are differing categories of membership. Below is the requirements for each membership to help guide you to which fits you best.

A Membership

  • Includes benefits from Cat B/C plus
  • Access to Wiley online journals
  • Listing on Find a Physio database
  • Access to promotional materials and merchandise
  • Use of ACPAT Branding

B Membership

  • Includes benefits from Cat C plus
  • Discount for ACPAT courses
  • ACPAT Block Insurance Scheme
  • Support from Education Officer
  • CPD and Peer Support via Regional Groups

C Membership

  • Access to members area on ACPAT Website
  • Four Front Journal and Newsletter
  • Discount for ACPAT Seminar
  • Access to selected ACPAT courses