Animal Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a recognised system of diagnosis and manual treatment concerning the structure and function of the body. Osteopaths use their hands to both help diagnose and treat disorders of the body framework.

Shirley Kay treating a dog with osteopathyAnimals, just like humans can suffer back, neck and muscular injuries from trips, falls and bumps, causing pain, stiffness, loss of mobility, lack of performance or even behavioural changes. And just like humans, animals can benefit from manipulation using osteopathic technique. The most common patients are dogs and horses; however, cats and farm animals can also benefit from treatment.

Animal osteopathy is complementary to veterinary care and has a holistic approach to treatment which works to realign and balance the animal’s musculoskeletal system, restoring health and movement, soundness and performance.

Veterinary Permission

An owner must always consult their veterinary surgeon BEFORE seeking osteopathic treatment as it is illegal for anyone to treat an animal without a veterinary surgeon’s approval. Most vets are aware of the benefits of complementary treatment for animals and will readily give their permission for the animal to be treated.

What to expect

The osteopath will take a case history, with details of the injury or change in behaviour and an impression of the animal’s exercise pattern and general lifestyle. The examination involves the osteopath manually articulating the various joints of the body to elicit and areas of reduced movement in the limbs or spine. Palpation of the animal’s tissues may reveal areas of muscle spasm or high tone, swelling, increased or decreased heat that are not normal for the animal.


The treatment will not hurt the animal, in fact most animals thoroughly enjoy it and become increasingly relaxed as the treatment progresses. There are many different techniques available ranging from soft tissue massage, gently articulation of limbs and joints, traction, joint mobilisation, through to cranio-sacral osteopathy working on uneven tension throughout the tissues surrounding the central nervous system.

How long is each treatment?

The initial visit normally involves a 30 minute consultation including treatment time. Subsequent visits last approximately 20-30 minutes.

How many treatments will it take?

Most conditions respond within 3 visits. Often cases require more than 3 visits and times between visits will vary depending on the patient and condition in question.

When to seek treatment

If your animal displays any of the following signs:

  • 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 helped:

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



Initial consultation and treatment: (£42)

Subsequent treatments: (£42)


For further information or to book an appointment please call Osteopathy & Natural Health Clinic  on 0151 625 1116, or email Shirley on the  Contact Us page