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Tutor Support Included

Learning remotely doesn’t mean you’re on your own! You’ll be able to message your tutor through our industry-leading learning platform.

Flexible Payment Options

Enrol today from £9.99 deposit & spread the cost over 24 months

Learn At Your Own Pace

Study wherever and whenever you want. You’ll have access to your course for one year so you can fit your learning around your other commitments.

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Level 6 Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy with Small Animal Hydrotherapy Top Up for Veterinary Nurses Surgeons (RQF)

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OUR PASS RATE
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86.8%
  • SALE Savings End Midnight Tuesday 18th June
  • SALE Savings End Midnight Tuesday 18th June

Level 6 Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy with Small Animal Hydrotherapy Top Up for Veterinary Nurses Surgeons (RQF)

This course at a glance

  • Expand on your medical training and contribute to your professional development
  • Gain an advanced, degree-level qualification
  • Study advanced methods used by Veterinary Physiotherapists and Animal Hydrotherapists
  • Benefit from 5 days of practical hydrotherapy training and 25 days of physiotherapy training at a choice of state-of-the-art centres
  • Complete 800 hours of experience with animals at a veterinary practice
  • Qualify as a recognised Veterinary Physiotherapist and Hydrotherapist

About your Course

The Level 6 Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy with small animal hydrotherapy (Top up for Veterinary nurses/Veterinary surgeons) is an advanced degree-level qualification designed specifically to suite veterinary professionals. This Ofqual regulated qualification will enable you to become a qualified Small Animal Physiotherapist and work with animal patients in and out of the water.

You will benefit from the higher-level hydrotherapy content which compliments the comprehensive physiotherapy content. During your study, you will explore topics such as:

  • Advanced neuro physiotherapy
  • Understanding pain
  • Physiotherapy techniques
  • Professional skill
  • Exercise prescription
  • Rehabilitation.

This qualification includes the following practical placements:

  • 5 days of practical experience in hydrotherapy and aquatic treadmill training 
  • 25 days of intensive hands-on training and assessments with a team of experienced Physiotherapists at the state-of-the-art clinic at The Canine Fitness Centre in Hampshire
  • 800 clinical practice hours. Please note, you will be responsible for arranging to complete these hours at the veterinary physiotherapy clinic of your choosing

Getting Started

learndirect is the UK’s leading online course provider. Our online courses and qualifications give you the flexibility to engage with your studies whenever suits you best.

The benefit of online learning means that you can plan your studies around your existing commitments. So, you’re able to progress with your learning in a way that works for you, without the stressful balancing act. With no classes to attend or a timetable to stick to, you’re in control of the pace and place of your learning.

What’s more, we have dedicated and experienced online tutors to support you throughout your qualification. As well as all the material being readily available as soon as you enrol so you’re able to start right away.

You will have access to the course for three and a half years after which, you can purchase extensions should you need to.

Modules

Units: Level 3 Diploma in Small Animal Hydrotherapy (Top up for Veterinary Surgeons and Veterinary Nurses)

Unit 1: Introduction to Small Animal Hydrotherapy

  • Understand what hydrotherapy is
  • Understand the properties of water
  • Know the equipment used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand the intended outcomes of hydrotherapy
  • Understand the health and safety requirements in a hydrotherapy centre
  • Understand legislation about hydrotherapy

Unit 2: Biomechanics and Gait

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 3: Conditions Presented for Hydrotherapy

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 4: Understanding Small Animal Massage

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 5: Water Maintenance, Balance and Testing

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 6: Practical Skills in Small Animal Hydrotherapy

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures<.li>
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 7: Practical Advanced Aquatic Treadmill Therapy

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 8: Practical Aquatic Treadmill Treatment

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 9: Administration in a Hydrotherapy Centre

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 10: Assessing the Suitability of Animals for Hydrotherapy

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 11: Animal Behaviour

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 12: Tissue Healing

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Units: Level 6 Veterinary Physiotherapy with small animal hydrotherapy (Top up for Veterinary nurses/Veterinary surgeons)

Part One

Unit 1: Application of Advanced Hydrotherapy and Treadmill Techniques

  • Discover small animal hydrotherapy using advanced pool and treadmill techniques

Unit 2: Hydrotherapy Business Management and Branding

  • Develop knowledge on how to establish a hydrotherapy company
  • Learn how to manage a hydrotherapy business
  • Explore branding and marketing

Unit 3: Comprehensive Canine Nutrition

  • Discover the role of nutrients for canines and how they support bodily functions
  • Study the structure and function of the canine digestive system
  • Learn about the benefits of canine nutritional and diet

Unit 4: Common Medical Conditions that Benefit from Hydrotherapy

  • Explore orthopaedic and neurological conditions that may benefit from hydrotherapy treatment
  • Investigate how to manage small animals with these conditions

Unit 5: Feline Behaviour and Welfare in Hydrotherapy

  • Understand feline behaviour and handling in a hydrotherapy setting

Unit 6: Musculoskeletal System Anatomy and Terminology

  • Explore in detail the muscles and joints and their role within the skeletal system
  • Learn the anatomical terminology used in referrals

Unit 7: Comprehensive Canine Laser Therapy

  • Study canine laser therapy and the different types of class IV laser equipment
  • Explore the different types of wavelengths and their importance in laser therapy

Unit 8: Canine Musculoskeletal System and Physiotherapy Practice

  • Discover the structure and function of the canine musculoskeletal system
  • Study common orthopaedic conditions that are suitable for physiotherapy and the equipment required

Unit 9: Fundamentals of Land-Based Manual Therapy

  • Learn the importance of clinical reasoning of land-based manual exercise
  • Understand the risk and contraindications of land-based therapy
  • Study the reasons for integration and transfer of land to water-based therapy

Unit 10: Effective Maintenance and Water Management in Hydrotherapy Facilities

  • Develop the knowledge to maintain hydrotherapy pools and treadmills effectively
  • Understanding the potential risk and hazards of inadequate maintenance

Unit 11: Practical Skills and Programme Design in Small Animal Hydrotherapy

  • Study range of practical skills required in small animal hydrotherapy
  • Design and evaluate programmes for hydrotherapy and treadmill treatment plans

Unit 12: Management and Duty of Care in Hydrotherapy Centres

  • Learn the duty of care with running a hydrotherapy centre
  • Study the implications of health and disease and record-keeping in a hydrotherapy centre

Unit 13: Comprehensive Small Animal Massage

  • Explore small animal massage and its impact on the anatomical structures of small animals
  • Examine the different types of small animal massage techniques
  • Understand the benefits for conditions experienced by small animals

Unit 14: Canine Body Language and Stress Management in Small Animal Hydrotherapy

  • Understand how to recognise and reduce stress during hydrotherapy
  • Learn the safe handling techniques to use on small animals

PART TWO

Unit 15: Gait Analysis and Clinical Reasoning

  • Study conducting gait analysis and recognising normal and abnormal gait patterns
  • Learn how to attribute these findings to a patient problem using clinical reasoning
  • Learn how to recognise abnormalities in gait which may form because of compensations

Unit 16: Palpation, Massage, Stretching, and Joint Mobilisation Techniques

  • Develop palpation skills and apply these skills to manual techniques
  • Learn skills to assess a patient before application, evaluate the response and the passive range of motion
  • Learn stretching techniques and joint mobilisations

Unit 17: Canine Nutrition and Health Optimisation

  • Analyse the content of commercial and home-cooked diets
  • Study the effects of obesity, weight reduction and how to assist owners
  • Study the nutritional requirements of a hospitalised patient
  • Learn how diet and health can affect the performance of the canine athlete

Unit 18: Canine Sports and Conditioning

  • Learn the common sports that dogs participate in within the UK
  • Discover canine conditioning and learn which injuries affect dogs participating in various sports
  • Understand the principles behind rehabilitating sporting dogs

Unit 19: Clinical Reasoning and Safe Application of Electrophysical Agents

  • Learn how to clinically reason which patients would benefit from electrophysical agents
  • Demonstrate the safe application of these therapies and know the contraindications and precautions

Unit 20: Business Development and Resilience

  • Develop business skills with web platforms and social media
  • Learn the VAT and the VAT registration process
  • Learn how to increase business profits and methods of expansion
  • Develop a knowledge of how to cope when running a business in the face of adversity

Unit 21: Customer Service Excellence in Physiotherapy

  • Develop excellent customer service skills during a physiotherapy service
  • Learn how to develop the right environment for patients and owners
  • Learn how to maintain professionalism and handling with complaints

Unit 22: Canine Athlete Assessment and Treatment Planning

  • Learn how to assess a canine athlete, create treatment goals based and then clinically reason treatment techniques
  • Evaluate an athlete canine's response to treatment, prepare them to return to function, and how to prevent re-injury

Unit 23: Effects of Injury and Physiotherapy Intervention to Aid Tissue Repair

  • Study the effects of damage to the musculoskeletal system
  • Study tissue response to injury, inflammation, regeneration, and repair

Unit 24: Lifelong Learning and Professional Growth in Animal Rehabilitation

  • Understand how lifelong learning can provide benefits to the animal rehabilitation industry
  • Develop methods of adopting lifelong learning and how to better succeed in a career and improve animal welfare

Unit 25: Biomechanical Principles in Rehabilitation and Conditioning

  • Study the principles of biomechanics and how this relates to the functions of the MSK
  • Study the biomechanics of locomotion, described by kinetics and kinematics and application
  • Learn kinesiology in methods of rehabilitation and conditioning

Unit 26: Multidisciplinary Teamwork in Veterinary Care and Sport Medicine

  • Understand how a Multidisciplinary Teamwork (MDT) approach can benefit professionals and clients in vet and sport medicine
  • Understand the different roles in veterinary care and sport medicine

Unit 27: Strength and Conditioning in Animal Rehabilitation

  • Understand the use and the benefits of strength and conditioning exercises
  • Learn what level to start and develop an exercise program based on the patient’s response
  • Understand the contraindications for strength and conditioning exercises

Unit 28: Physical Principles and Patient Benefits of Electrical Therapies in Rehabilitation

  • Explore the physical principles behind electrical therapies
  • Learn about thermal therapies, therapeutic ultrasound, electrical stimulation including NMES and TENS, pulsed magnetic field therapy and shockwave therapy

Unit 29: Musculoskeletal and Systemic Responses to Strength Training and Conditioning

  • Study how the musculoskeletal system responds to strength and conditioning, at the cellular and a gross level
  • Discover different types of strength and conditioning training can have different effects on body tissues
  • Learn about the respiratory system, cardiovascular system, and haematological and biochemical systems

Unit 30: The Aging Process and Geriatric Patient Care

  • Explore how the ageing process affects the cells, organs, and musculoskeletal system
  • Investigate how diet and exercise can affect the ageing process
  • Understand which neurological and orthopaedic conditions commonly affect the geriatric patient
  • Learn how to assess, clinically reason treatment techniques for and how to adapt an exercise programme

Unit 31: Practical Application of Research Methodology

  • Explore methodology based on research questions
  • Understand what methods to use for different research questions and how to apply such methods in practice

Unit 32: Assessing and Monitoring Welfare in Small Animals

  • Learn how to assess the welfare needs of small animals particularly, dogs, cats, and rabbit
  • Discover how to monitor the health needs and care of dogs, cats, and rabbits
  • Understand the impact of stress and animal behaviour on animal welfare

Unit 33: Tissue Changes and Rehabilitation Effects

  • Study the changes in specific tissues following a period of immobilisation following injury
  • Understand how to remobilisation during rehabilitation
  • Discover the effects on tissue of specific conditions and their rehabilitation
  • Learn how to examine tissue response to both strength and endurance training

PART 3

Unit 34: Cellular Anatomy, Injury, and Responses

  • Study the anatomical structures contained within the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, and urinary systems
  • Learn the impact of physiotherapy on the body

Unit 35: Understanding and Managing Patient Behaviour in Physiotherapy Sessions

  • Study the behavioural implications which may arise because of pain
  • Understand how a patient’s behaviour may change in response to fear
  • Learn how to deal with aggressive canine and feline patients
  • Discover how to use behavioural modification and training techniques to make the session a positive experience for the patient

Unit 36: Neurological Assessment and Management in Small Animal Physiotherapy

  • Gain a greater understanding of the anatomy of the central and peripheral nervous systems
  • Study spinal reflexes and the information they give about a patient’s neurological function
  • Learn how to perform a neurological exam on an animal patient

Unit 37: Clinical Practice in Veterinary Hydrotherapy and Physiotherapy

  • Undertake a minimum of 800 clinical practice hours across the duration of their training
  • This training will be supervised and will allow learners to observe and apply aspects of learning and practical skills required for the veterinary physiotherapy profession

Unit 38: Clinical Reasoning in Rehabilitation

  • Study the clinical reasoning in the rehabilitation setting and how clinical reasoning errors occur

Unit 39: Treatment Plans for the Rehabilitation of Common Musculoskeletal Injuries

  • Explore the common injuries to which patients are referred for rehabilitation
  • Learn how to create treatment goals for patient rehabilitation
  • Develop a hydrotherapy/ physiotherapy treatment plan for rehabilitation
  • Learn how to evaluate the response to a treatment plan for rehabilitation

Unit 40: Cellular Anatomy, Injury, and Responses

  • Discover the anatomical structure of the cell and the function of the components which make up the cell
  • Understand the causes of cellular damage and how different types of injury affect the cell in different ways

Unit 41: Individualised Exercise Prescription in Rehabilitation

  • Learn how to ensure the home environment is suitable for the patient
  • Learn how the stage of the healing affects the exercises prescribed
  • Learn how to develop an exercise prescription for a specific patient

Unit 42: Physiotherapy Techniques and Equipment

  • Discover the physiotherapy techniques that can be used for rehabilitation
  • Study the techniques and equipment that can be used to enhance patient strength, range, and balance

Unit 43: Principles of Rehabilitation in Canine and Feline Patients

  • Learn the principles and goals of rehabilitation
  • Study how differences in morphology can impact the rehabilitation of small animal patients
  • Explore the different rehabilitation settings in which therapies can take place

Unit 44: Professional Practice in Veterinary Hydrotherapy and Physiotherapy

  • Learn how to promote good practice in the veterinary hydrotherapy and veterinary physiotherapy setting
  • Study how to effectively use communication and codes of conduct relating to the industry

Unit 45: Ethics and Legislation in Professional Physiotherapy Practice

  • Examine the ethics and legislation surrounding professional rehabilitation practice
  • Learn about the professional membership for Physiotherapists

Unit 46: Research Project

  • Conduct a supervised project, and develop an understanding of how to formulate, conduct, analyse and present a project

Unit 47: Competent and Compassionate Animal Care in Veterinary Physiotherapy

  • Learn how to implement competent, compassionate, and safe animal handling
  • Study the health and safety precautions to deliver a safe service in physiotherapy
  • Understand the professional behaviour requirements for a Veterinary Physiotherapist
  • Learn how to keep professional records as a Physiotherapist and the importance of doing so

Unit 48: Developmental Considerations for the Juvenile Patient

  • Study the development of the skeleton and the skeletal differences which may exist amongst juvenile patients,
  • Study conditions young patients are referred for rehabilitation for and understand the ways to adapt to their needs

Unit 49: Legislation and Ethics in Small Animal Care

  • Explore the ethics relating to small animals with a focus on dogs, cats, and rabbits
  • Explore different ethical viewpoints in small animal legislation

Unit 50: Advanced Case Study

  • Construct a 2500–3000-word case study about a particular patient and their treatment session

Unit 51: Pain Management in Veterinary Physiotherapy

  • Understand the physiological mechanisms surrounding pain and the complexity of managing chronic pain
  • Study how patient behaviour may be affected by pain
  • Learn the pharmaceuticals commonly prescribed by veterinary surgeons to treat pain

Entry Requirements

Learners will need to show evidence of a Vet or Vet Nurse qualification before enrolling. If already a qualified Hydrotherapist, learners will also be able to omit the 12 hydrotherapy units within this course. Please also note, the minimum age for enrolment is 18.

Minimum Age restriction

18

Average completion timeframe

You have 3 years to complete your course.

Assessment requirements

You will be assessed via a combination of video and photo submissions, case studies, your supervisor will also need to provide witness testimonies.

Placement or Practical required

This course includes a 5 day hydrotherapy placement at our centre, as well as 25 days on a physiotherapy placement at our Canine Fitness centre, PLUS 800 hours of clinical experience with a Physiotherapist that learners will they need to find themselves.

If placement or practical required, when?

Learners can complete the practical training once payment thresholds are met and the relevant parts of the theory are complete. The placement is then booked on a 1:1 basis (bespoke to each learners’ abilities).

Additional requirements

Learners can become a member of the Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners (RAMP) following completion of this course.

Certification Timeframe

Learners can expect their certification within 6 months of completing the course, following the (EQA) External Quality Assurance of assessment.

Course Fees

All course fees, inclusive of all payment plans including our Premium Credit Limited option, must be settled before certification can be ordered.

*You will have access to the course for 24 months.

When studying the Level 6 Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy with small animal hydrotherapy (Top up for Veterinary nurses/Veterinary surgeons) you will be asked to show your knowledge and provide evidence of your studies. 

Assessment will take the form of a range of in-depth theory assessments for each unit. Students will be assessed on their portfolio of evidence which includes practical assessments taken throughout the qualification.

Your written online assessments will be marked by a tutor.

When are you assessed?

As you’re in control of how you learn, you’re also in charge of when you hand in your assignments.

This enables you to take as long as you need to thoroughly understand the unit before completing any assignments.

After completion of your qualification, you will be awarded the Level 6 Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy with small animal hydrotherapy (Top up for Veterinary nurses/Veterinary surgeons). This is the equivalent of a bachelor's degree with honours, graduate certificates, and graduate diplomas.

To achieve the Level 6 Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy with small animal hydrotherapy (Top up for Veterinary nurses/Veterinary surgeons), you must achieve a total of 502 credits across 63 units.

This qualification is designed for those who want to build on their current qualifications and qualify as a Veterinary Physiotherapist. This qualification will enable you to seek employment in a specialist role within a wider practice setting. Alternatively, this qualification will also ensure that you are equipped with the professional skills needed to work as a self-employed veterinary physiotherapist.

Following completion of this qualification, you will be eligible to join membership organisations such as the:

  • Canine Hydrotherapy Association (CHA)
  • International Association of Animal Therapists (IAAT)

Frequently Asked Questions

Veterinary nurses trained in both animal physiotherapy and hydrotherapy offer a well-rounded approach to animal rehabilitation. They can assess patients, develop land-based exercise programmes, and utilise the unique benefits of water exercises for improved pain management, mobility, and overall wellbeing. This expanded skillset allows them to contribute more significantly to a patient's recovery journey.
Veterinary surgeons trained in animal physiotherapy and hydrotherapy can provide a more comprehensive recovery plan for their patients. This allows them to understand the biomechanics of movement post-surgery, design targeted exercise programmes for improved healing and function, and utilise hydrotherapy for pain management and faster rehabilitation.
By offering both animal physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, veterinary practices can expand their service offerings to capture a wider range of pet needs. These in-demand services can improve recovery times after surgery, manage chronic pain, and enhance rehabilitation for pets with mobility issues. This comprehensive approach positions veterinary practices as one-stop shops for pet care, attracting new clients and increasing market share.
This Level 6 Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy with Hydrotherapy will significantly elevate your career in animal care. Regardless of your background as a veterinary nurse or surgeon, this qualification equips you with a specialised skillset in rehabilitation and pain management. You'll be able to offer a wider range of services, potentially open your own practice, and ultimately play a more comprehensive role in improving animal wellbeing, boosting your value and career prospects.
Yes! This course combines online study with practical training to make sure it’s an accessible way for veterinary professionals to upskill and advance their careers.

Emma
Retrained as a foot health practitioner and set up a flourishing healthcare business while juggling work as a dental nurse and two children!

Gemma
Check out how this course has helped real-life learners – people just like you - to reach their goals and achieve success!

“I was just overwhelmed with happiness, and I was so proud of myself that I’d actually achieved something that others told me I never would, and it’s the first time in a long time that I’m excited for the future.”

Paul
Re-took his Maths GCSE at the age of 46 to boost his grade and prove the doubters wrong!

“I wasn’t happy with what I got at school many years ago and I felt this is what I should have got the first time around, so I was glad to get that monkey off my back.”

Read the real story
  • SALE Savings End Midnight Tuesday 18th June
  • SALE Savings End Midnight Tuesday 18th June

Level 6 Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy with Small Animal Hydrotherapy Top Up for Veterinary Nurses Surgeons (RQF)

This course at a glance

  • Expand on your medical training and contribute to your professional development
  • Gain an advanced, degree-level qualification
  • Study advanced methods used by Veterinary Physiotherapists and Animal Hydrotherapists
  • Benefit from 5 days of practical hydrotherapy training and 25 days of physiotherapy training at a choice of state-of-the-art centres
  • Complete 800 hours of experience with animals at a veterinary practice
  • Qualify as a recognised Veterinary Physiotherapist and Hydrotherapist

About your Course

The Level 6 Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy with small animal hydrotherapy (Top up for Veterinary nurses/Veterinary surgeons) is an advanced degree-level qualification designed specifically to suite veterinary professionals. This Ofqual regulated qualification will enable you to become a qualified Small Animal Physiotherapist and work with animal patients in and out of the water.

You will benefit from the higher-level hydrotherapy content which compliments the comprehensive physiotherapy content. During your study, you will explore topics such as:

  • Advanced neuro physiotherapy
  • Understanding pain
  • Physiotherapy techniques
  • Professional skill
  • Exercise prescription
  • Rehabilitation.

This qualification includes the following practical placements:

  • 5 days of practical experience in hydrotherapy and aquatic treadmill training 
  • 25 days of intensive hands-on training and assessments with a team of experienced Physiotherapists at the state-of-the-art clinic at The Canine Fitness Centre in Hampshire
  • 800 clinical practice hours. Please note, you will be responsible for arranging to complete these hours at the veterinary physiotherapy clinic of your choosing

Getting Started

learndirect is the UK’s leading online course provider. Our online courses and qualifications give you the flexibility to engage with your studies whenever suits you best.

The benefit of online learning means that you can plan your studies around your existing commitments. So, you’re able to progress with your learning in a way that works for you, without the stressful balancing act. With no classes to attend or a timetable to stick to, you’re in control of the pace and place of your learning.

What’s more, we have dedicated and experienced online tutors to support you throughout your qualification. As well as all the material being readily available as soon as you enrol so you’re able to start right away.

You will have access to the course for three and a half years after which, you can purchase extensions should you need to.

Modules

Units: Level 3 Diploma in Small Animal Hydrotherapy (Top up for Veterinary Surgeons and Veterinary Nurses)

Unit 1: Introduction to Small Animal Hydrotherapy

  • Understand what hydrotherapy is
  • Understand the properties of water
  • Know the equipment used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand the intended outcomes of hydrotherapy
  • Understand the health and safety requirements in a hydrotherapy centre
  • Understand legislation about hydrotherapy

Unit 2: Biomechanics and Gait

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 3: Conditions Presented for Hydrotherapy

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 4: Understanding Small Animal Massage

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 5: Water Maintenance, Balance and Testing

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 6: Practical Skills in Small Animal Hydrotherapy

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures<.li>
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 7: Practical Advanced Aquatic Treadmill Therapy

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 8: Practical Aquatic Treadmill Treatment

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 9: Administration in a Hydrotherapy Centre

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 10: Assessing the Suitability of Animals for Hydrotherapy

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 11: Animal Behaviour

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Unit 12: Tissue Healing

  • Understand the terminology used in hydrotherapy
  • Understand gait patterns
  • Evaluate normal and abnormal postures
  • Understand the process of muscle contraction

Units: Level 6 Veterinary Physiotherapy with small animal hydrotherapy (Top up for Veterinary nurses/Veterinary surgeons)

Part One

Unit 1: Application of Advanced Hydrotherapy and Treadmill Techniques

  • Discover small animal hydrotherapy using advanced pool and treadmill techniques

Unit 2: Hydrotherapy Business Management and Branding

  • Develop knowledge on how to establish a hydrotherapy company
  • Learn how to manage a hydrotherapy business
  • Explore branding and marketing

Unit 3: Comprehensive Canine Nutrition

  • Discover the role of nutrients for canines and how they support bodily functions
  • Study the structure and function of the canine digestive system
  • Learn about the benefits of canine nutritional and diet

Unit 4: Common Medical Conditions that Benefit from Hydrotherapy

  • Explore orthopaedic and neurological conditions that may benefit from hydrotherapy treatment
  • Investigate how to manage small animals with these conditions

Unit 5: Feline Behaviour and Welfare in Hydrotherapy

  • Understand feline behaviour and handling in a hydrotherapy setting

Unit 6: Musculoskeletal System Anatomy and Terminology

  • Explore in detail the muscles and joints and their role within the skeletal system
  • Learn the anatomical terminology used in referrals

Unit 7: Comprehensive Canine Laser Therapy

  • Study canine laser therapy and the different types of class IV laser equipment
  • Explore the different types of wavelengths and their importance in laser therapy

Unit 8: Canine Musculoskeletal System and Physiotherapy Practice

  • Discover the structure and function of the canine musculoskeletal system
  • Study common orthopaedic conditions that are suitable for physiotherapy and the equipment required

Unit 9: Fundamentals of Land-Based Manual Therapy

  • Learn the importance of clinical reasoning of land-based manual exercise
  • Understand the risk and contraindications of land-based therapy
  • Study the reasons for integration and transfer of land to water-based therapy

Unit 10: Effective Maintenance and Water Management in Hydrotherapy Facilities

  • Develop the knowledge to maintain hydrotherapy pools and treadmills effectively
  • Understanding the potential risk and hazards of inadequate maintenance

Unit 11: Practical Skills and Programme Design in Small Animal Hydrotherapy

  • Study range of practical skills required in small animal hydrotherapy
  • Design and evaluate programmes for hydrotherapy and treadmill treatment plans

Unit 12: Management and Duty of Care in Hydrotherapy Centres

  • Learn the duty of care with running a hydrotherapy centre
  • Study the implications of health and disease and record-keeping in a hydrotherapy centre

Unit 13: Comprehensive Small Animal Massage

  • Explore small animal massage and its impact on the anatomical structures of small animals
  • Examine the different types of small animal massage techniques
  • Understand the benefits for conditions experienced by small animals

Unit 14: Canine Body Language and Stress Management in Small Animal Hydrotherapy

  • Understand how to recognise and reduce stress during hydrotherapy
  • Learn the safe handling techniques to use on small animals

PART TWO

Unit 15: Gait Analysis and Clinical Reasoning

  • Study conducting gait analysis and recognising normal and abnormal gait patterns
  • Learn how to attribute these findings to a patient problem using clinical reasoning
  • Learn how to recognise abnormalities in gait which may form because of compensations

Unit 16: Palpation, Massage, Stretching, and Joint Mobilisation Techniques

  • Develop palpation skills and apply these skills to manual techniques
  • Learn skills to assess a patient before application, evaluate the response and the passive range of motion
  • Learn stretching techniques and joint mobilisations

Unit 17: Canine Nutrition and Health Optimisation

  • Analyse the content of commercial and home-cooked diets
  • Study the effects of obesity, weight reduction and how to assist owners
  • Study the nutritional requirements of a hospitalised patient
  • Learn how diet and health can affect the performance of the canine athlete

Unit 18: Canine Sports and Conditioning

  • Learn the common sports that dogs participate in within the UK
  • Discover canine conditioning and learn which injuries affect dogs participating in various sports
  • Understand the principles behind rehabilitating sporting dogs

Unit 19: Clinical Reasoning and Safe Application of Electrophysical Agents

  • Learn how to clinically reason which patients would benefit from electrophysical agents
  • Demonstrate the safe application of these therapies and know the contraindications and precautions

Unit 20: Business Development and Resilience

  • Develop business skills with web platforms and social media
  • Learn the VAT and the VAT registration process
  • Learn how to increase business profits and methods of expansion
  • Develop a knowledge of how to cope when running a business in the face of adversity

Unit 21: Customer Service Excellence in Physiotherapy

  • Develop excellent customer service skills during a physiotherapy service
  • Learn how to develop the right environment for patients and owners
  • Learn how to maintain professionalism and handling with complaints

Unit 22: Canine Athlete Assessment and Treatment Planning

  • Learn how to assess a canine athlete, create treatment goals based and then clinically reason treatment techniques
  • Evaluate an athlete canine's response to treatment, prepare them to return to function, and how to prevent re-injury

Unit 23: Effects of Injury and Physiotherapy Intervention to Aid Tissue Repair

  • Study the effects of damage to the musculoskeletal system
  • Study tissue response to injury, inflammation, regeneration, and repair

Unit 24: Lifelong Learning and Professional Growth in Animal Rehabilitation

  • Understand how lifelong learning can provide benefits to the animal rehabilitation industry
  • Develop methods of adopting lifelong learning and how to better succeed in a career and improve animal welfare

Unit 25: Biomechanical Principles in Rehabilitation and Conditioning

  • Study the principles of biomechanics and how this relates to the functions of the MSK
  • Study the biomechanics of locomotion, described by kinetics and kinematics and application
  • Learn kinesiology in methods of rehabilitation and conditioning

Unit 26: Multidisciplinary Teamwork in Veterinary Care and Sport Medicine

  • Understand how a Multidisciplinary Teamwork (MDT) approach can benefit professionals and clients in vet and sport medicine
  • Understand the different roles in veterinary care and sport medicine

Unit 27: Strength and Conditioning in Animal Rehabilitation

  • Understand the use and the benefits of strength and conditioning exercises
  • Learn what level to start and develop an exercise program based on the patient’s response
  • Understand the contraindications for strength and conditioning exercises

Unit 28: Physical Principles and Patient Benefits of Electrical Therapies in Rehabilitation

  • Explore the physical principles behind electrical therapies
  • Learn about thermal therapies, therapeutic ultrasound, electrical stimulation including NMES and TENS, pulsed magnetic field therapy and shockwave therapy

Unit 29: Musculoskeletal and Systemic Responses to Strength Training and Conditioning

  • Study how the musculoskeletal system responds to strength and conditioning, at the cellular and a gross level
  • Discover different types of strength and conditioning training can have different effects on body tissues
  • Learn about the respiratory system, cardiovascular system, and haematological and biochemical systems

Unit 30: The Aging Process and Geriatric Patient Care

  • Explore how the ageing process affects the cells, organs, and musculoskeletal system
  • Investigate how diet and exercise can affect the ageing process
  • Understand which neurological and orthopaedic conditions commonly affect the geriatric patient
  • Learn how to assess, clinically reason treatment techniques for and how to adapt an exercise programme

Unit 31: Practical Application of Research Methodology

  • Explore methodology based on research questions
  • Understand what methods to use for different research questions and how to apply such methods in practice

Unit 32: Assessing and Monitoring Welfare in Small Animals

  • Learn how to assess the welfare needs of small animals particularly, dogs, cats, and rabbit
  • Discover how to monitor the health needs and care of dogs, cats, and rabbits
  • Understand the impact of stress and animal behaviour on animal welfare

Unit 33: Tissue Changes and Rehabilitation Effects

  • Study the changes in specific tissues following a period of immobilisation following injury
  • Understand how to remobilisation during rehabilitation
  • Discover the effects on tissue of specific conditions and their rehabilitation
  • Learn how to examine tissue response to both strength and endurance training

PART 3

Unit 34: Cellular Anatomy, Injury, and Responses

  • Study the anatomical structures contained within the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, and urinary systems
  • Learn the impact of physiotherapy on the body

Unit 35: Understanding and Managing Patient Behaviour in Physiotherapy Sessions

  • Study the behavioural implications which may arise because of pain
  • Understand how a patient’s behaviour may change in response to fear
  • Learn how to deal with aggressive canine and feline patients
  • Discover how to use behavioural modification and training techniques to make the session a positive experience for the patient

Unit 36: Neurological Assessment and Management in Small Animal Physiotherapy

  • Gain a greater understanding of the anatomy of the central and peripheral nervous systems
  • Study spinal reflexes and the information they give about a patient’s neurological function
  • Learn how to perform a neurological exam on an animal patient

Unit 37: Clinical Practice in Veterinary Hydrotherapy and Physiotherapy

  • Undertake a minimum of 800 clinical practice hours across the duration of their training
  • This training will be supervised and will allow learners to observe and apply aspects of learning and practical skills required for the veterinary physiotherapy profession

Unit 38: Clinical Reasoning in Rehabilitation

  • Study the clinical reasoning in the rehabilitation setting and how clinical reasoning errors occur

Unit 39: Treatment Plans for the Rehabilitation of Common Musculoskeletal Injuries

  • Explore the common injuries to which patients are referred for rehabilitation
  • Learn how to create treatment goals for patient rehabilitation
  • Develop a hydrotherapy/ physiotherapy treatment plan for rehabilitation
  • Learn how to evaluate the response to a treatment plan for rehabilitation

Unit 40: Cellular Anatomy, Injury, and Responses

  • Discover the anatomical structure of the cell and the function of the components which make up the cell
  • Understand the causes of cellular damage and how different types of injury affect the cell in different ways

Unit 41: Individualised Exercise Prescription in Rehabilitation

  • Learn how to ensure the home environment is suitable for the patient
  • Learn how the stage of the healing affects the exercises prescribed
  • Learn how to develop an exercise prescription for a specific patient

Unit 42: Physiotherapy Techniques and Equipment

  • Discover the physiotherapy techniques that can be used for rehabilitation
  • Study the techniques and equipment that can be used to enhance patient strength, range, and balance

Unit 43: Principles of Rehabilitation in Canine and Feline Patients

  • Learn the principles and goals of rehabilitation
  • Study how differences in morphology can impact the rehabilitation of small animal patients
  • Explore the different rehabilitation settings in which therapies can take place

Unit 44: Professional Practice in Veterinary Hydrotherapy and Physiotherapy

  • Learn how to promote good practice in the veterinary hydrotherapy and veterinary physiotherapy setting
  • Study how to effectively use communication and codes of conduct relating to the industry

Unit 45: Ethics and Legislation in Professional Physiotherapy Practice

  • Examine the ethics and legislation surrounding professional rehabilitation practice
  • Learn about the professional membership for Physiotherapists

Unit 46: Research Project

  • Conduct a supervised project, and develop an understanding of how to formulate, conduct, analyse and present a project

Unit 47: Competent and Compassionate Animal Care in Veterinary Physiotherapy

  • Learn how to implement competent, compassionate, and safe animal handling
  • Study the health and safety precautions to deliver a safe service in physiotherapy
  • Understand the professional behaviour requirements for a Veterinary Physiotherapist
  • Learn how to keep professional records as a Physiotherapist and the importance of doing so

Unit 48: Developmental Considerations for the Juvenile Patient

  • Study the development of the skeleton and the skeletal differences which may exist amongst juvenile patients,
  • Study conditions young patients are referred for rehabilitation for and understand the ways to adapt to their needs

Unit 49: Legislation and Ethics in Small Animal Care

  • Explore the ethics relating to small animals with a focus on dogs, cats, and rabbits
  • Explore different ethical viewpoints in small animal legislation

Unit 50: Advanced Case Study

  • Construct a 2500–3000-word case study about a particular patient and their treatment session

Unit 51: Pain Management in Veterinary Physiotherapy

  • Understand the physiological mechanisms surrounding pain and the complexity of managing chronic pain
  • Study how patient behaviour may be affected by pain
  • Learn the pharmaceuticals commonly prescribed by veterinary surgeons to treat pain

Entry Requirements

Learners will need to show evidence of a Vet or Vet Nurse qualification before enrolling. If already a qualified Hydrotherapist, learners will also be able to omit the 12 hydrotherapy units within this course. Please also note, the minimum age for enrolment is 18.

Minimum Age restriction

18

Average completion timeframe

You have 3 years to complete your course.

Assessment requirements

You will be assessed via a combination of video and photo submissions, case studies, your supervisor will also need to provide witness testimonies.

Placement or Practical required

This course includes a 5 day hydrotherapy placement at our centre, as well as 25 days on a physiotherapy placement at our Canine Fitness centre, PLUS 800 hours of clinical experience with a Physiotherapist that learners will they need to find themselves.

If placement or practical required, when?

Learners can complete the practical training once payment thresholds are met and the relevant parts of the theory are complete. The placement is then booked on a 1:1 basis (bespoke to each learners’ abilities).

Additional requirements

Learners can become a member of the Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners (RAMP) following completion of this course.

Certification Timeframe

Learners can expect their certification within 6 months of completing the course, following the (EQA) External Quality Assurance of assessment.

Course Fees

All course fees, inclusive of all payment plans including our Premium Credit Limited option, must be settled before certification can be ordered.

*You will have access to the course for 24 months.

Excellent Marking

Assessment

When studying the Level 6 Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy with small animal hydrotherapy (Top up for Veterinary nurses/Veterinary surgeons) you will be asked to show your knowledge and provide evidence of your studies. 

Assessment will take the form of a range of in-depth theory assessments for each unit. Students will be assessed on their portfolio of evidence which includes practical assessments taken throughout the qualification.

Your written online assessments will be marked by a tutor.

When are you assessed?

As you’re in control of how you learn, you’re also in charge of when you hand in your assignments.

This enables you to take as long as you need to thoroughly understand the unit before completing any assignments.

Qualifications

After completion of your qualification, you will be awarded the Level 6 Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy with small animal hydrotherapy (Top up for Veterinary nurses/Veterinary surgeons). This is the equivalent of a bachelor's degree with honours, graduate certificates, and graduate diplomas.

To achieve the Level 6 Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy with small animal hydrotherapy (Top up for Veterinary nurses/Veterinary surgeons), you must achieve a total of 502 credits across 63 units.

This qualification is designed for those who want to build on their current qualifications and qualify as a Veterinary Physiotherapist. This qualification will enable you to seek employment in a specialist role within a wider practice setting. Alternatively, this qualification will also ensure that you are equipped with the professional skills needed to work as a self-employed veterinary physiotherapist.

Following completion of this qualification, you will be eligible to join membership organisations such as the:

  • Canine Hydrotherapy Association (CHA)
  • International Association of Animal Therapists (IAAT)

Frequently Asked Questions

Veterinary nurses trained in both animal physiotherapy and hydrotherapy offer a well-rounded approach to animal rehabilitation. They can assess patients, develop land-based exercise programmes, and utilise the unique benefits of water exercises for improved pain management, mobility, and overall wellbeing. This expanded skillset allows them to contribute more significantly to a patient's recovery journey.
Veterinary surgeons trained in animal physiotherapy and hydrotherapy can provide a more comprehensive recovery plan for their patients. This allows them to understand the biomechanics of movement post-surgery, design targeted exercise programmes for improved healing and function, and utilise hydrotherapy for pain management and faster rehabilitation.
By offering both animal physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, veterinary practices can expand their service offerings to capture a wider range of pet needs. These in-demand services can improve recovery times after surgery, manage chronic pain, and enhance rehabilitation for pets with mobility issues. This comprehensive approach positions veterinary practices as one-stop shops for pet care, attracting new clients and increasing market share.
This Level 6 Diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy with Hydrotherapy will significantly elevate your career in animal care. Regardless of your background as a veterinary nurse or surgeon, this qualification equips you with a specialised skillset in rehabilitation and pain management. You'll be able to offer a wider range of services, potentially open your own practice, and ultimately play a more comprehensive role in improving animal wellbeing, boosting your value and career prospects.
Yes! This course combines online study with practical training to make sure it’s an accessible way for veterinary professionals to upskill and advance their careers.

Emma
Retrained as a foot health practitioner and set up a flourishing healthcare business while juggling work as a dental nurse and two children!

Gemma
Check out how this course has helped real-life learners – people just like you - to reach their goals and achieve success!

“I was just overwhelmed with happiness, and I was so proud of myself that I’d actually achieved something that others told me I never would, and it’s the first time in a long time that I’m excited for the future.”

Paul
Re-took his Maths GCSE at the age of 46 to boost his grade and prove the doubters wrong!

“I wasn’t happy with what I got at school many years ago and I felt this is what I should have got the first time around, so I was glad to get that monkey off my back.”

Read the real story
OUR PASS RATE
Animal Care & Veterinary Science
86.8%
(National Average 74.9%)
Online &
Practical Learning
63 units
1879 guided
learning hours

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