Physiotherapy Service for Animals

Emma Kirby is an experienced and dedicated practitioner who strives to produce the best outcomes for all her clients. She is available on site every Wednesday.

Physiotherapy consultations require a referral to Emma if a patient is under your care and a diagnosis has been made. To begin your referral process, please complete the online vet referral form or download and submit either by email or fax.

This service not only complements our other departments, but also provides alternative options for clients who would prefer a non-invasive treatment for their pets when suitable.

Through our Physiotherapy department we are able to offer the following services:

  • Treatment of soft tissue disorders, joint disease and spinal injury
  • Post-operative and post-injury rehabilitation and exercise programmes
  • Arthritis Management

What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is an evidence-based therapeutic profession that is available for both humans and animals and is certainly becoming more popular for canines (and equines) as the public learns of its existence and resulting successes.

Why is physiotherapy needed for animals?

Animals have the same needs as people in regard to physiotherapy. Just like when humans have surgery and post-operative rehabilitation is required, or are recovering from injury and require physio treatment to assist in regaining mobility, or require specialist & specific sports treatment, or are simply just getting a bit older and require mobilisation assistance, so too does the animal world.

Emma Kirby - who am I?

I am a registered Physiotherapist, having completed a Bachelor of Physiotherapy in Adelaide in 1998. I also gained a post-graduate Masters degree in Animal Physiotherapy from the University of Queensland in 2004. Since 2004 I have been practising in both human and animal physiotherapy and in 2009 I moved back to my home town of Adelaide where I’m delighted to be part of the team at the Adelaide Veterinary Specialist Referral Centre as well as continuing on farm/property location consultations in the Adelaide Hills and metropolitan area.

Emma Kirby is available for consultations every Wednesday. To book a suitable appointment time, please speak with our friendly staff at reception on 8132 0533.

Is animal physiotherapy scientific & can it assist veterinary services?

Animal Physiotherapists are not alternative therapists, they are professionals with scientific, research-based training, that compliments veterinary practice. Animal physiotherapy is a specialisation of an existing regulated profession, which follows stringent evidence-based clinical reasoning and standards of practice.

In many situations, your client compliance and patient outcomes can improve with referral access to a qualified animal physiotherapist. In fact, clients are now demanding appropriate complementary treatment and rehabilitation options for their animals, and they could significantly benefit from an allied health professional opinion, referred by their vet.

What are the specific treatments available for animal physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy treatment modalities and techniques are effective at modulating pain and inflammation, assisting healing, facilitating muscle activation and strength, assisting with joint mobility and soft-tissue problems.

Physiotherapy also assists in spinal problems, post-surgical rehabilitation such as cranial cruciate repairs and fractures, and cases where osteoarthritis/degenerative joint disease/hip dysplasia are painful and limiting function.

Treatment can involve manual soft tissue therapies (including massage, myofascial, trigger point, positional releases), spinal and peripheral joint mobilization, strength and stability exercises and stretching, electrotherapy and owner/rider exercise programmes.

Is it possible to discuss options with AVSARC?

Yes it is and our friendly reception staff will happily assist in organising a suitable time. I would be happy to meet you in person to discuss any opportunities that may exist to provide my services.

I am also happy to discuss my background and experience with animal physiotherapy that included the position of team physio for the Australian Endurance team at the World Equestrian Games in Germany (2006).