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Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy

Vet nurse carrying out physio treatment on a dog. The dog is lying on the floor with its owner beside it

At the UCDVH Animal Rehabilitation Clinic (ARC) we provide the highest standards of patient care and evidence based rehabilitation.  Our highly qualified human and veterinary physiotherapists carefully tailor the rehabilitation plan to meet the needs of your patient or pet. 

We provide rehabilitation services on an inpatient and outpatient basis supporting both owner and referring vet in order to further enhance the recovery of the patient. 

Animal welfare is at the center of our practice and we make sure we are up to date with the latest and most valuable research ‘’discoveries.’’  We make sure our knowledge in physiotherapy is the most up to date. We participate in numerous international conferences and we enjoy keeping up with our human and veterinary continuous learning development responsibilities.

It is an exciting time for the animal physiotherapy field thanks to the explosive advancement in human physiotherapy. We take part in The One Health momentum by researching novel, objectively measured and non-invasive pain management methods.

Like people, animals recovering from surgery or illness, along with those suffering from chronic conditions such as arthritis, benefit from rehabilitation.  At the ARC, patients suffering from a wide variety of musculo-skeletal and neurological conditions are treated.  Each patient undergoes a thorough assessment, and an individual rehabilitation programme is designed specifically to meet their needs and to facilitate a faster and safer return to health and mobility.

Physical Therapy

Animals respond extremely well to the gentle, non invasive approach of physical therapy.  Some of the benefits include:

  • Increased muscle strength and joint flexibility
  • Reduction of pain and promotion of healing
  • Improved mobility, balance and co-ordination

A rehabilitation programme will incorporate a combination of therapies such as:

  • Massage Therapy
  • Trigger Point Therapy
  • Myofascial Release
  • Mobilisation & Stretching
  • Thermotherapy
  • Exercise Prescription

Maria Jose Gomez Sanchez is a CORU registered Human Physiotherapist and a Veterinary Nurse. She has worked for 17 years caring for and treating animals. She is the only Certified Equine Rehabilitation Therapist (Equine Rehabilitation Institute, Florida) in Ireland. She holds a diploma in Equine Craniosacral Therapy from the Upledger Institute and she completed the Canine Sports Medicine part of the CRI programme.

Maria took part in UCD's Aurora Leadership Development Programme in 2018/2019. She also holds a Professional Diploma in Entrepreneurial Education from the UCD Innovation Academy and has participated in numerous national and international conferences. Maria teaches undergraduate and graduate vets and vet nurses and is involved in the research of fascia and multimodal pain management.

As a University based veterinary hospital, we understand the importance of teaching and learning. Our vet and vet nursing students participate in clinical rotations with the ARC service enhancing their learning in rehabilitation to become, in some cases, future practitioners of physiotherapy.

Students observe our ARC team whilst administering therapy regimes to patients and do not perform therapies without direct supervision from a qualified physiotherapist.

Some of the Clinical Conditions treated include:
Post Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Cruciate ligament repair
  • Total hip replacement
  • Femoral head ostectomy
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Osteochondrosis
  • Fracture repair
Rehabilitation after neurological injury (with appropriate clinical signs)
  • Post spinal surgery
  • Fibrocartilaginous embolism
  • Degenerative myelopathy
Muscle strengthening and improved joint function
  • Arthritis
  • Spondylosis
  • Hip / elbow dysplasia
  • Muscular strains / sprains
  • Tendon contracture
Weight loss
  • Nutritional advice

At the UCDVH ARC we have many years of experience treating a wide variety of orthopedic and neurological conditions for all sizes of creatures. Animals, big or small,  can be referred to this service. 

Appointments are strictly on a referral basis only. If your vet decides your animal is a suitable candidate for physical therapy, ask them to refer you to the Animal Rehabilitation Clinic (ARC) at the UCDVH.

As a referral hospital we are unable to accept appointments without a referral request.  Your vet can request a referral through the Vet Referral Form on our website.

Once your referral is received, our veterinary physiotherapist will get in contact with you to arrange an appointment.

ARC staff will contact your vet after the first series of treatment sessions and will provide your vet with regular progress updates.

UCD Veterinary Hospital

UCD Veterinary Sciences Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 6000 | Location Map(opens in a new window)