VMPT · Animal Physical Therapy

In Germany accredited training as a veterinary physiotherapist (small animals). · Course in german language

Animal physiotherapists are highly skilled members of the veterinary multidisciplinary team.

As in human medicine, animal physical therapy is becoming increasingly important in veterinary practice. This specialty covers a wide field of activity, ranging from postoperative rehabilitation and therapy of patients requiring conservative treatment (e.g. osteoarthrosis), to the care of sports and rehabilitation dogs. Animal physical therapy is an exciting and rewarding career.

While diagnosis, preparation of the therapy plan and evaluation are reserved for the veterinarian, the execution of physical therapy is possible both by the veterinarian, but also by trained personnel. Particularly trained veterinary assistants are suitable for the execution. These have a sound basic knowledge of veterinary medicine and are skilled in dealing with dogs and their owners. Animal physical therapy involves a thorough examination and assessment to identify musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiorespiratory, as well as biomechanical dysfunctions.

The most common areas of treatment are:

  • Performance enhancement.
  • Treatment of musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Post operative rehabilitation for animals with orthopaedic or neurological conditions.
  • Enhancement of quality of life in patients with degenerative conditions such as arthritis.

Animal physical therapy is delivered by:

  • Physiotherapeutic equipment
  • Manual techniques
  • Rehabilitation

However in Germany, intensive further training is necessary for the practice of physical therapy, as comprehensive knowledge of the anatomy of the musculoskeletal system, the physiology and pathophysiology of the tissues, the physiology of performance, the various diseases and, last but not least, the physiotherapeutic techniques are required.

Become an expert and professional animal physiotherapist!

At VAHL our mission is to provide the opportunity for professionals to extend their knowledge and skills. The VMPT course is recognized in Germany by the Verband medizinischer Fachberufe e.V. as continuing education with 164 hours. This is a milestone in the recognition of continuing education for TFA and TAH. This recognition is in accordance with §5(2)(3) of the classification in the activity group III of the salary collective agreement for TFA/TAH and entitles the wearing of the "additional qualification for physical therapy".

In order to be allowed to complete a VMPT training at all, the following prerequisites are absolutely indispensable:

  • Completed training as a veterinary nurse, veterinary assistant or similar training that requires appropriate knowledge of anatomy and physiology
    (if applicable, please submit training certificates or apply for special admission).
  • Prospective students still in training may also submit an application for special admission.
  • For all special admission applications, the Training Committee reserves the right to verify prior knowledge if necessary.

An extensive basic knowledge is necessary for the successful practice of animal physical therapy. Understanding causal relationships, making well-founded diagnoses, designing therapy plans and applying measures in a targeted and individualized manner requires a comprehensive basic knowledge of veterinary medicine.

VMPT Germany


PD Dr. Barbara Bockstahler, FTA, CCRP, Dipl. ACVSMR,
Dipl. ECVSMR, Vetmeduni Wien, Österreich

Dr. Barbara Esteve Ratsch,
CCRP, VAHL, Norwegen
Dr. Beate Egner,
VAHL, Babenhausen
Fiona Kolthoff,
TFA, VMPT, Würzburg
Prof. Dr. Johann Maierl,
Lehrstuhl für Tieranatomie
LMU München

PD Dr. Oliver Harms,
Obertierarzt, Fachtierarzt für
Kleintiere und Chirurgie, Dipl. ECVSMR,


Dr. Bianca Reicher,
CCRP, Vetmeduni Wien, Österreich
Dr. Kai Rentmeister,
Dipl. ECVN, Dettelbach b. Würzburg
Dr. Kathleen Wittek,
CCRP, Vetmeduni Wien, Österreich
Dr. Anika Verhoeven,
Resident ECVSMR, FTA Kleintiere

I'm A Veterinarian, What's Your Superpower?

~ Dr. med. vet. Beate Egner

Together we will make this time a positive one despite all what is going on!

VAHL webinars have been held weekly since April 2020. These are held by specialists from all over the world. Topics include small animals and horses. The webinars meanwhile have over 900 registered participants. In September 2020, the symposia were additionally launched and are scheduled on a Wednesday..

The VAHL webinars have become a fixed institution: every Tuesday afternoon. Take advantage live or spend a moment the weekend after as the recording will remain free of charge for one week.

The organization and preparation was put to the test in the Covid pandemic and the challenges were solved excellently by the VAHL E-TEAM. This underlines the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and a synergy of teaching-practice-industry as a goal-oriented step in terms of multimodal patient management.

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Take advantage live or spend a moment the weekend after as the recording will remain free of charge for one week.

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