Animal osteopathy is a manual therapy complementary to veterinary care that aims to remove tension and restrictions and encourage healing in the animal's musculoskeletal system. The result is pain relief, improved movement and performance and injury prevention.

Animal osteopathy was developed over 30 years ago in the UK and is common practice in Europe, Australia and New Zealand where it is recommended by many veterinarians. 

Animal osteopaths commonly treat horses and dogs.

Equine Osteopathy

Horses need to be physically sound to perform at their best.

Equine Osteopathic treatment helps them to achieve their full potential by removing muscle tension and joint restriction, both of which commonly lead to pain and lameness. 

Treatment results in pain relief and injury prevention, maximising movement, performance and health.

Equine Osteopathy helps horses of all ages and breeds, from young competitive athletes to older school horses.


What can Equine Osteopathy treat?

  • Reduced performance
  • Maintaining mobility in competition horses
  • Gait problems: tracking-up/short stride, cross-canter problems, rushing downhill, pulls uphill, lacks concentration
  • Stiffness in different areas of the body
  • Stiffness in the older horse
  • Reluctance to trot / canter on certain reins
  • Preventing bucking between transitions
  • Problems with head carriage
  • Changes in behaviour: bucking, bolting, rearing, kicking and refusing to jump
  • Objection to being saddled or girthed, unable to stand still or relax, hyper-sensitivity to brushing and difficulty shoeing
  • Aiding rehabilitation after injury (tendon injuries, ligament overstrains, sacroiliac lesions)
  • Aiding rehabilitation in diagnosed conditions such as arthritis, hind leg and front leg lameness
  • Uneven muscle bulk, muscle imbalance and spasms

What to expect from an Equine Osteopathy treatment

Initially the osteopath will take a history of the horse, including details of the injury or change of behaviour, general health and lifestyle. The osteopath will then observe the horse in-hand, at walk and trot and performing a series of turns. This is followed by a physical examination where the osteopath will identify areas of strain or tension. 

After discussing with the owner the treatment will commence and build on the examination findings. The techniques chosen will be tailored specifically to each individual horse according to his/her age and build. This normally includes:

  • Joint mobilisation
  • Soft tissue release
  • Muscle stretching
  • Joint manipulation 

How to care after the treatment

    Treatments initiate a healing response that triggers changes to occur within the horse’s body; this can often be quite a tiring experience for your horse. 

    For this reason it’s recommended that the horse should not be worked after the treatment for 1-2 days followed by a gradual return to normal activity. 

    Tailored advice will be provided on rest, stretches and exercise. Follow-up treatments will then be discussed with the owner. The number of treatments required will depend on your horse’s history as well as the condition being treated.

    Should A Horse Be Checked More Regularly?

    Horses should be checked on a regular basis – at least 3 to 4 times a year. Osteopaths are trained to detect early changes in the musculo-skeletal system that could result in an injury if treatment is delayed.

    A tailored individual programme of regular osteopathic treatment alongside regular stretching, exercises and appropriate schooling, the use of correctly fitting tack and a correct rider position can all help to maximise your horse’s performance. 

    The number of treatments required will depend on your horse’s history as well as the condition being treated.

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    Canine Osteopathy

    Dogs may suffer from painful sprains and injuries.

    Their way of communicating discomfort is to display changes in personality, character or performance. 

    Canine Osteopathy

    Dogs may suffer from painful sprains and injuries. Their way of communicating discomfort is to display changes in personality, character or performance. 


    Canine Osteopathy

    Dogs may suffer from painful sprains and injuries. Their way of communicating discomfort is to display changes in personality, character or performance. 


    Canine Osteopathy

    Dogs may suffer from painful sprains and injuries. Their way of communicating discomfort is to display changes in personality, character or performance. 


    What can Canine Osteopathy treat?

      • Muscular problems such as stiffness, spasms or atrophy
      • Gait problems such as short or uneven steps
      • Aging problems such as arthritis
      • Joint Pains, Lameness, Limping
      • Back Pain, Disc Bulges, Disc Problems, Herniated Discs, Spondylosis, Spondylitis
      • Neck Pain, Cervical Vertebral Instability
      • Hip Problems, Congenital Hip Dysplasia, Arthritis, Bursitis
      • Changes in behavioural patterns, Inability to Relax
      • Poor or reduced performance levels
      • Circulatory Problems (local and minor)
      • Digestive Problems
      • Post-operative Issues: speeding up the recovery process and limiting compensatory strains

      What to expect from a Canine Osteopathy treatment


      Initially the osteopath will take a history of the dog, including details of the injury or change of behaviour, general health and lifestyle.


      The osteopath will then observe the dog while walking, running and performing a series of turns. This is followed by a physical examination where the osteopath will identify areas of strain or tension. 


      After discussing with the owner the treatment will commence and build on the examination findings. The techniques chosen will be tailored specifically to each individual dog according to his/her age and build. 


      This normally includes:

      Joint mobilisation  |  Soft tissue release  |  Muscle stretching

      What to expect and how to care after the treatment

      Treatments initiate a healing response that triggers changes to occur within the dog’s body; this can often be quite a tiring experience for your dog. For this reason it is recommended that the dog should be rested after the treatment for 1-2 days followed by a gradual return to normal activity. 

      Tailored advice will be provided on rest, stretches and exercise. Follow-up treatments will then be discussed with the owner. The number of treatments required will depend on your horse’s history as well as the condition being treated.

      Should a dog be checked regularly?

      This depends on the history of your dog, the age and the demands placed upon him/her. Racing and agility dogs commonly suffer from musculoskeletal imbalances from training and regular treatment can help improve their performance and prevent injury whilst maintaining their overall health.

      Elderly dogs often need frequent regular treatments than younger dogs, to help improve their mobility and combat stiffness. Thus, annual check-ups, maintenance treatments, pre-competition/event tune-ups and preventative treatments may be advised. 

      Conditions treated

      When to seek treatment:

      If your animal displays one of the following signs:

      • Reduced performance
      • General stiffness
      • Crying out when getting up.
      • Difficulty climbing stairs or getting into cars.
      • Signs of discomfort when being stroked on their backs.
      • A reluctance to exercise or pain and stiffness after exercise.
      • Lameness after a fall or accident where alternative causes have been ruled out.
      • Absence of any resolution of the problem using conventional methods.

      Common problems treated


      • Minor joint strains
      • Ligament sprains
      • Osteoarthritis
      • Development growth problems
      • Post surgery work
      • Neck and back problems

      What to expect

      Initially the osteopath will take a history of the animal, including details of the injury or change of behaviour, general health and lifestyle. This is followed by a walking and a physical examination where the osteopath will identify areas of strain or tension.

      After discussing with the owner, the treatment will commence and build on the examination findings. This normally includes joint mobilisation, soft tissue release, stretching and manipulation aimed at rebalancing the body. 

      Tailored advice will be provided on rest, stretches and exercise.

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