Pursuing a career in Veterinary Physiotherapy
by Dr Tanya Grantham
How can I embark in a Career in Animal Physical Therapy? The veterinary and para-veterinary act of South Africa was amended on the 22 Dec 2017, to promulgate a new profession called Veterinary Physiotherapy. Veterinary Physiotherapy concerns itself with optimising movement in animals, and improving quality of life. Movement, function and performance are assessed and then enhanced by utilising a unique skill set.
The South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) is the statutory body that regulates the requirements for people working in the veterinary field. We now have a legal profession that is regulated by the SAVC. Any person wishing to work in the field of vet physiotherapy must now acquire the qualification as set out by the SAVC. At this stage there is no further opportunity for people to enter the profession via other avenues in South Africa, for example a human physiotherapist wanting to practice as an animal physiotherapist.
The only institution that currently offers the 4 year full time degree in South Africa is Equine Librium College in Plettenberg Bay. www.equine-librium.co.za The process of recognition of this degree with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) is almost complete. There are other educational institutions that are looking to be recognised, but there is a process through which they must go. They have not yet completed the registration and authorisation with the recognised authorities.
We are watching the development of this profession with great anticipation, there may be many more changes in time. What we advise you to do, is to familiarise yourself with all the different opportunities and career avenues in animal health, thereby creating a vision for yourself, where you want to be in future. Further information can be obtained from The South African Animal Physical Rehabilitation Association www.saapra.co.za