Career in Animal Physical Therapy?

Question by Sir Guitarist: Career in Animal Physical Therapy?
I’m currently in a college for Exercise Physiology. As soon as I graduate I want to go into Physical Therapy most likely a PhD or Masters program (PhD is pretty what I’ll end up because Masters is less competitive.)

I’ve been thinking… is there any colleges for animal physical therapy? Or you need to have a Physical Therapy degree (for humans)? What is the process?

I need as much info about it since it’s a new field. I’m interested in it.

Best answer:

Answer by .shakeshakeshake.
.this might help.

What is Animal Physical Therapy?

Animal physical therapy is a new and rapidly developing field of health care for animals. The benefits of physical therapy have long been recognized in humans. More recently, research in the veterinary field has shown the same benefits of physical therapy to be true for animal patients.

Performing orthopedic or neurological surgery or fitting an animal with a cast or splint, and then discharging the patient without proper rehabilitative care are outdated approaches. Similarly, if an animal has an injury, chronic pain, or arthritis, he/she should be referred for physical therapy.

Physical therapy intervention plays an enormous role in the recovery and maintenance of numerous conditions. If your animal has been injured or requires surgery, physical therapy can speed the healing time and result in a better recovery. If your animal is experiencing pain or neurological symptoms, begins to limp, is overweight, or is just physically “out-of-shape,” physical therapy, along with proper veterinary care, can help to improve your animal’s condition, well being, and quality of life!

Who should perform my pet’s physical therapy?

The best and most qualified professional to perform animal physical therapy is a licensed physical therapist that specializes in the treatment of animals. It is important for the physical therapist to work closely with the veterinarians. Be cautious about the “therapist’s” credentials and experience – only a licensed physical therapist (PT) or licensed physical therapist assistant (PTA) working under the supervision of a physical therapist are allowed by law to perform physical therapy.

Veterinarians and licensed veterinary technicians are legally able to do physical therapy with animals; however, education on physical therapy is not routinely a part of their schooling. Although there is currently no formal training, there are weekend courses available for PTs, PTAs, vets, and vet techs to study animal physical therapy. Also available to these professionals is a certification program in canine rehabilitation.

It is important for the consumer to understand that being certified in “canine rehabilitation” or “canine massage” does not necessarily mean the individual is qualified to be providing this type of service. The ideal model of animal physical therapy is for veterinarians to refer their patients to licensed physical therapists for evaluation and treatment, with the PTA and vet tech assisting the PT in the treatment of the animal.

Education levels…

Physical therapists receive a Master of Science in Physical Therapy degree and then must pass a state licensing exam to practice physical therapy. (In earlier years, PTs received Bachelor degrees. However, all physical therapy programs are required to be at the Masters level now.) Physical therapy programs are approximately 3 years in length at the graduate level.

receive an Associate’s degree and most programs are approximately 2 years in length. PTAs may treat patients under the supervision of a physical therapist and are not allowed to do evaluations or make changes in treatment plans without approval of the supervising PT.

Veterinarians receive a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and must pass a licensing exam to practice veterinary medicine. Their education is 4 years in length at the graduate level. As with most professions, to become a specialist, such as an orthopedic surgeon, more extensive education is required. Many vets have openly admitted to me that they learned nothing about physical therapy in their programs.

Veterinary technician education varies from state to state. Many “vet techs” are trained on-the-job and have had no formal training. Others who are licensed veterinary technicians graduated with an Associate’s degree – approximately 2 years of training. Veterinary technicians also do not learn physical therapy as part of their schooling.

Answer by Aber
I’m a PT with a master’s degree. Unfortunatly there is no formal program for animal PT. You need to take special continuing ed classes after and will likely need to travel all over the country to reach them. With the DPT program you are likely looking at 7 years college then extra classes. With all that schooling why not just go too school to be a vet?? And to be honest, the pay for PTs really is not that good considering all the schooling you need to put in, altough it is improving. I have worked all over the country as a PT so send me a message through YAif you have any quesions.

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