Discover Animal Osteopathy

We know that, in France, half the population has a pet. Most of them are cats and dogs, but others also have exotic pets or horses. More and more pet owners are calling on an manual therapist for a variety of treatments and the profession is growing year on year as a result. As it stands, more and more people are seeking a career working with animals, and many students, as well as those wishing to extend their expertise or start afresh entirely, are choosing to train in animal osteopathy.


What is Animal Osteopathy

The definition of animal osteopathy, as given by the CNOV, is as follows:

The sole purpose of these manipulations is to prevent or treat functional disorders within the animal’s body, excluding organic pathologies which require therapeutic, medical, surgical, medicinal or physical intervention. These manipulations are musculoskeletal and myo-fascial, exclusively administered manually and externally. To assist in the management of these functional disorders, people performing animal osteopathy procedures perform non-instrumental, direct and indirect, non-forced manipulations and mobilizations. 

Animal osteopathy involves finding the cause of the animal’s disorder and discomfort.

There is also the definition given by Decree No. 2017-572 of April 19, 2017 on Légifrance, which also gives the rules of ethics applicable to people performing acts of animal osteopathy and the terms of their registration on the list held by the Order of Veterinarians.


A Day in the Life of an Animal Osteopath

We can convey the daily life of an manual therapist based on the 6 essential professional skills of animal osteopathy. On a daily basis, the manual therapist is required to:

  • Travel to meet the animals to be treated (cats, dogs, horses, cattle, exitoc pets).
  • Evaluate the clinical situation, taking into account the animal as a whole.
  • Establish an osteopathic diagnosis.
  • Determine and implement the appropriate osteopathic manipulations.
  • Identify the cases that must be treated, first and foremost, by a veterinarian.
  • Manage a practice or your self-employed activity. 

Most manual therapists opt to be private practitioners. It is essential therefore to own a car as you will be expected to travel to meet clients several times a day. In the case where the manual therapist has their own practice, or practices in a clinic, there’s the possibility of receiving patients for osteopathic consultations. 

The scope of activity for an manual therapist varies greatly. On a daily basis, the manual therapist provides consultations, but can also be called out on emergency interventions. If the manual therapist provides care for several kinds of animals (cattle, horses, canines etc.) then these interventions will be more varied.


Specialties in animal osteopathy

Animal osteopathy can be practiced on all types of animals, with the profession specialising in five major animal families. Here are the different animal osteopathy practices:

The profession of animal osteopathy is therefore very diverse with the possibility to specialise. Depending on the specialty or the specialties practiced, the manual therapist may be required to monitor the sporting progress of racehorses and sporthorses or agility and canicross dogs. In particular, they can also provide care for growing or aging animals, or animals in parks or shelters.

Séance d'ostéopathie équine

Equine osteopathy

Osteopathy for horses is a gentle, manual practice which enables the detection, prevention and treatment of mobility difficulties or organic pathologies. Equine osteopathy allows you to better understand the stresses and strains specific to horses and the constraints related to equestrian equipment. The equine osteopath helps to improve the horse’s back mobility and overall freedom of movement.

Séance d'ostéopathie canine

Exotic Pets Osteopathy

Osteopathy for horses is a gentle, manual practice which enables the detection, prevention and treatment of mobility difficulties or organic pathologies. Equine osteopathy allows you to better understand the stresses and strains specific to horses and the constraints related to equestrian equipment. The equine osteopath helps to improve the horse’s back mobility and overall freedom of movement.

Séance d'ostéopathie canine

Canine Osteopathy

By palpating the painful area in dogs, the canine osteopath can make a diagnosis and perform the appropriate manipulations, if necessary. A canine osteopath is often called upon to treat or prevent health problems related to the joints, muscles and organs.

Séance d'ostéopathie bovine

Bovine Osteopathy

Bovine osteopathy is a gentle manual technique used to treat and prevent functional disorders in cattle. In this case, the bovine osteopath is called to breeders to treat cows, calves, bulls, pigs, etc. Bovine osteopathy palpates the animal presenting symptoms of a functional disorder in order to establish a diagnosis and choose the appropriate manipulations.

Séance d'ostéopathie bovine

Feline Osteopathy

Feline osteopathy helps ensure the cat’s good health throughout its life. A feline osteopath can care for and support the growth of a kitten as well as assist adult cats in the event of illnesses, accidents or functional disorders. The feline osteopath can also be called upon to treat elderly cats to improve their mobility as they age. 


The Salary of a manual therapist

For a consultation in animal osteopathy, pricing varies between £40 and £100. This price varies depending on the animal and the manual therapist’s skillset. An manual therapist’s reputation, as well as the geographic region in which they work, can also influence this. The salary of a manual therapist is, on average, between £1,100 and £2,100 net per month.

What’s the average cost of a consultation in animal osteopathy?

Equine osteopathy: £70

Canine osteopathy: £60

Feline osteopathy: £60

Bovine osteopathy: £50

Exotic Pets osteopathy: £40

Factors that can influence the remuneration of the manual therapist:

  • Their professional experience
  • The reputation of the practitioner
  • The distance travelled to get to the place of a consultation
  • The type of animal being treated
  • The practitioner’s pace of work
  • Competition in the department or region
  • The number of emergency consultations carried out outside of standard working hours

Opportunities in animal osteopathy

Animal osteopathy is a booming industry. As a result, there are now numerous opportunities for manual therapists on offer. Whether in the fields of equine osteopathy or bovine, feline or canine osteopathy, demand for osteopathic care for animals is growing. Many owners have been able to see their animals get better through the use of manipulation techniques that restore the animal’s body balance. For trained animal osteopaths, several possibilities exist:

  • They can practice animal osteopathy in a veterinary practice or in their own clinic.
  • Carry out various interventions in farms, equestrian centers, training centers for racehorses, animal parks, shelters, farms …
  • They can also be a speaker in animal osteopathy schools.

Become an osteopath for animals

It is also possible to specialize in equine osteopathy or canine osteopathy, for example. There are different paths to becoming an manual therapist depending on whether you are a student or already working.

There is post high school education animal osteopathy training for students, for example. The priority is to undertake your studies in a school of animal osteopathy that suits you, that respects your values, and that provides you with quality academic training.

The continuing education programme in animal osteopathy is intended for:

  • Students with prior training ranging from 3 to 5 years, provided by private schools (for example ESAO).
  • Veterinarians, qualified osteopaths with a diploma, with continuing education training provided by ESAO.

Do not hesitate to contact the school’s administrative team in order to register for one of our Open Days, to organize a visit, or simply to discuss any questions you may have.