A new association has been formed to help promote a scientific approach to physiotherapy for animal welfare.

The Association for the Scientific Study of Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapy (ASSVAP) provides a hub for veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses, veterinary physiotherapists and students for all animals, including equines, to see the latest research.

One of the major aims of the association is to promote veterinary physiotherapy as an evidence based discipline.

ASSVAP was formed by Gillian Elliott. After her border collie was seriously injured in a road accident she was told she might have to put the dog down.

Although surgery stabilised the dog the prognosis was poor, but a friend suggested physiotherapy.

When Gillian discussed this with her vet, she was told there was no evidence to suggest that physiotherapy would help with animals.

However the physio was a great success and the dog has made a complete recovery.

Gillian said: “I couldn’t get over the fact that there must be thousands of animals who are not receiving physiotherapy because vets didn’t understand how it could help.

“I was determined that I would try and help make a difference and after doing a lot of research I decided there was definitely a need for an organisation like ASSVAP.”

Dr Gail Williams, a large and small animal vet added: “The aim of ASSVAP is to promote all aspects of veterinary physiotherapy, from training, through to creating an interface between veterinary surgeons and veterinary physiotherapists, and establishing confidence in this profession.

“It’s a scientific society and we encourage people with a research interest in aspects of veterinary physiotherapy to apply for membership.”

Full membership is £100 per year and student membership is £50.

For more information visit: www.assvap.com