Original Research

The evolution of physiotherapy in animal rehabilitation in Durban, Kwazulu Natal

N. Naidoo, J. Marr, V. Singh, B. Du Toit, N. Narisamulu
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 64, No 2 | a103 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v64i2.103 | © 2008 N. Naidoo, J. Marr, V. Singh, B. Du Toit, N. Narisamulu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 January 2008 | Published: 19 February 2008

About the author(s)

N. Naidoo, Lecturer, Discipline of Physiotherapy, School of Physiotherapy, University of KwaZulu-Natal
J. Marr,
V. Singh,
B. Du Toit,
N. Narisamulu, Final year Physiotherapy students, Discipline of Physiotherapy, School of Physiotherapy, University of KwaZulu-Natal

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Abstract

Introduction:Animal physiotherapy is a specialized branchof physiotherapy. As this specialization is not introduced at undergraduatelevel, there is a need to ascertain whether qualified physiotherapists had an interest in this field. The need for post-graduate interest in this subjectwould support a post-graduate programme as there is no academic insti -tutional programme in this field in South Africa.Aim of study:To gain information on the awareness of and interest in animalphysiotherapy from veterinary surgeons and qualified physiotherapists.Methodology: Two questionnaires were constructed, one for veterinarysurgeons and one for physiotherapists. Sixty physiotherapists and 30 veteri-nary surgeons in private practice in Durban, KwaZulu Natal participated in the study. A return of 73% of the question-naires for veterinary surgeons and 65% for physiotherapists was obtained. Data  analysis: Data  for  Physiotherapists  and  veterinary  surgeons  were  grouped  together  for  responses  to  the questionnaire and compared. Results: All physiotherapists and veterinary surgeons involved in the study are aware of animal physiotherapy. 81.5% of the veterinary surgeons administer physiotherapy treatment as part of their overall rehabilitation programmeand 7.41% refer their clients to physiotherapists. All the veterinary surgeons stated that physiotherapy is necessary inthe overall animal rehabilitation. 12.5% of physiotherapists treated animals and all felt under-qualified to treat animals.Conclusion: The study reveals a need for post-graduate specialization in animal physiotherapy and this would promote public awareness of its existence and benefit to animals.

Keywords

animal physiotherapy; veterinary practice

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