Perceptions of animal physiotherapy amongst Irish veterinary surgeons.
The aim of this study was to investigate veterinary surgeons' perceptions, knowledge and use of animal physiotherapy in the Republic of Ireland. A questionnaire was developed and sent to 200 veterinary surgeons, of which 97 were returned. Results indicated that 77 (79%) of respondents were aware of animal physiotherapists. Common sources of information included veterinary colleagues, owners and professional journals, with physiotherapists themselves and undergraduate training being less commonly cited. Awareness of animal physiotherapy was greatest amongst those working in equine practice (χ2 = 5.7, df 1, p = 0.017); they were more knowledgeable about its techniques (t = 2.806, df 75, p = 0.006) and more likely to refer (χ2 = 48.36, df 1, p = 0.0001). Seventy-four respondents (96%) thought that more research was necessary to increase the evidence base for animal physiotherapy. If this branch of physiotherapy is to develop, there needs to be increased interaction and co-operation between veterinary surgeons and chartered animal physiotherapists.