how to train in……Chiropractic for Animals & Animal Manipulation
We are frequently asked for advice on what training and qualifications are required to become a Chiropractor working with animals.
This page has been compiled to answer some of the most common questions. If you have any further queries please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to help, or please contact the organisations mentioned.
Are qualifications needed to become a Chiropractor working with animals?
In the UK in order to use the title 'chiropractor', practicioners must be registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). Therefore you need to be fully trained and obtain a recognised qualification.
Unfortunately, there are therapists calling themselves 'chiropractors' who are not qualified - therefore it is important for the animal owner to be able to distinguish between qualified and unqualified therapists, having a qualification and being registered with the GCC enables this.
Remember - It is an offence for any person, other than the owner of the animal, to treat an animal unless the permission of the vet in charge of the case or to whom the animal would be referred is sought and obtained. A Veterinary Surgeon is extremely unlikely to refer any customers to you unless you are qualified and insured.
What qualifications can I get & how do I get them?
The GCC does not recognise any courses in animal chiropractic - to be called a 'chiropractor' the therapist must have trained as a human chiropractor and be registered with the GCC as such.
However, there are courses available based upon chiropractic techniques for animals. These can be taken after training as a human chiropractor or completion of another eligible course.
The International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA) offers membership to qualified veterinarians (registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) or chiropractors (registered with the General Chiropractic Council), who have completed an IVCA approved course. At present, there are 4 IVCA recognised Veterinary Chiropractic educational establishments who run basic, advanced and continuing professional development courses in England, Germany, Spain and U.S.A.
The IVCA also requires members to undertake undertake regular continuing professional development.
What can I expect on a basic Veterinary Chiropractic course?
All IVCA approved basic veterinary chiropractic courses consist of a minimum of 210 hours of lectures in classroom and laboratory (plus home study). Topics studied include: anatomy, neurology, biomechanics, relevant pathology, physiology, rehabilitation, ethics, philosophy and legalities.
Get more information at the websites featured in the Contacts section near the end of this page
There are 2 organisations that offer recognised qualifications in Animal or Equine Manipulation based upon Chiropractic techniques. These are:
1) The McTimoney Chiropractic College offers Masters level courses in both Animal Manipulation, (including an "Osteopathic Pathway"), plus also Chiropractic (small animals).
- Fully qualified and registered in a manipulative therapy (e.g. trained human chiropractor, osteopath, physiotherapist).
- NB: the Chiropractic (small animals) course is designed for those who're already qualified chiropractors only.
- Or hold a BSc in Equine or Animal Science
- Or are a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
- Experience of working with animals - usually BHS Stage I and II is acceptable.
- Students who do not hold formal academic qualifications may submit a portfolio of certified experience for consideration.
2) A 2nd organisation - The Oxford College of Equine Physical Therapy runs an one-year, post-graduate Diploma in McTimoney-Corley Equine Manipulation. As this is an 'animal manipulation' course, graduates of this cannot register with the General Chiropractic Council and call themselves chiropractors. However, this therapy has evolved from chiropractic techniques and so maybe of interest to you.
- Under 25 years old - You should hold a degree (usually a BSc).
- Over 25 years old - Each application will be considered on its own merit.
- Applicants of any age, must have substantial prior experience and competence in handling horses.
There is also this course, which is an option for anyone wanting to learn how to assist equine physical performance.
ICAT Equine Physical Therapy and Myopractic Practitioner Course
The main aim of the Institute of Complementary Animal Therapies (ICAT) Equine Physical Therapy And Myopractic Practitioner course is to enable candidates to gain the theoretical and practical skills required in order to provide equine myopractic treatments. Candidates will be taught mobilisation and myopractic techniques to assist equine physical performance, reduce the recurrence of a problem, aid recovery and support rehabilitation.
The ICAT Equine Physical Therapy And Myopractic Practitioner course is taught over eighteen months. Candidates attend bi-monthly tutorials, as well as continuing their studies with practical and theory coursework between tutorials.
Successful completion of this qualification offers graduates progression routes within the equine health, wellbeing and rehabilitation industries.
Further details such as entry requirements, fees, recommended reading lists, location, accommodation details and booking forms can be obtained from www.animalmechanics.com
What difference do qualifications make to a customer?
Being qualified in Veterinary Chiropractic or either of the Animal Manipulation courses above means that you are suitably qualified to practise. By proving that you have undertaken a rigorous training and achieved nationally recognised qualifications, potential customers know that they are going to receive a good standard of expertise.
In addition you are only likely to obtain insurance cover if you are a qualified therapist - which your potential customers are likely to find a very important issue when choosing between therapists.
Furthermore, Veterinary Surgeons will only refer customers to you if you are registered and fully qualified. Remember - It is an offence for any person, other than the owner of the animal, to treat an animal unless the permission of the vet in charge of the case or to whom the animal would be referred is sought and obtained.
A fully qualified Veterinary Chiropractor or Animal Manipulator will always work within the permission of and liaise with the Veterinary Surgeon of the animal.
- McTimoney Chiropractic College
- Oxford College of Equine Physical Therapy & Diploma of McTimoney-Corley Equine Manipulation
- International Veterinary Chiropractic Association
- General Chiropractic Council
- British Veterinary Chiropractic Association
- Institute of Complementary Animal Therapies (ICAT)
- Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners
Get training advice tips for other popular complementary therapies for animals as follows:
- Canine Bowen Therapy
- Canine Massage
- Equine Bowen Therapy
- Equine Massage
- Osteopathy for Animals
- Physiotherapy for Animals
- Thermography for Horses