Vav Simon
(Mhairi Simon)

DC AMC FRCC
Clinical Director

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01983 566009




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'Introducing Complementary Therapies'

Training

These therapists must be trained in the veterinary form of the treatment. Four-legged animals move quite differently to humans, and most therapists are qualified to treat pets like dogs, cats, ferrets, etc as well as horses.

Like vets, chiropractors, osteopaths and physiotherapists must register with their professional council following training. These organisations publish codes of conduct and standards of proficiency, monitor continued professional development training and ensure suitable professional insurance is in place.

Permission

All therapists must seek the vet’s permission to treat any medical condition. They may only treat non-medical problems without this permission – which really means poor performance – and this is what most people contact therapists for.

Other therapies you may hear about include massage, aromatherapy, herbal remedies and homeopathy. No matter how well qualified these therapists are for human patients, they are still not permitted to treat animals by law. Owners, however, are allowed to administer herbal and homeopathic remedies for their own animal, if that is their choice.

Teamwork

In practice, many vets will give permission for a therapist who’s work they respect to go ahead. The training that chiropractors, osteopaths and physiotherapists go through is a post-graduate course that includes a lot of veterinary science, along with an understanding of farriery and dentistry. This means that they are able to recognise a medical problem that has arisen since the vet saw the horse and ensure they do not complicate the situation. They will recommend the owner returns to the vet for appropriate treatment.

Many vets know about complementary therapies through trying it for themselves. Like many doctors, dentists and nurses, they have found that complementary therapies can find answers where conventional treatments come to a halt.

When vet and therapist work in tandem they can get the best result for both the horse’s comfort and competition performance. Occasionally, they can pull off a miracle, where neither profession could achieve results alone.


Dr Vav Simon tells NagMag exactly what the term ‘Complementary Therapy’ means.

Vav Simon is a leading chiropractor who is qualified to work both with humans and animals. Although based on the Isle of Wight, Vav offers her services throughout Hampshire, Dorset, Witshire, Sussex, Berkshire and Surrey, normally assessing and treating on the same day. Vav was the founder of the Natural Therapy Centre for Animals in Ryde on the Isle of Wight and provides chiropractic, massage, homeopathy, herbs and the more gentle and holistic natural therapies for horses, dogs and other animals that are complementary to the skills of veterinary medicine.

Very much dedicated to her work, Vav has been Chair of the Animal Chiropractic Faculty one of her professional associations, Registrar of another, and is currently Director for Academic Affairs for the College of Chiropractic Animal Faculty much to keep her occupied.

Complementary Therapies are those treatments not usually provided by vets, but recognised as effective within their areas of expertise.

For humans, many complementary therapies are offered to paying customers. Some have now been accepted by the NHS and other providers like BUPA. For animals, the law is strict in protecting animals from harm that could be done by untrained individuals.

The Veterinary Surgery (Exemptions) Order 1962 states very clearly that only a few named types of complementary therapies can be legally performed. These are chiropractic, osteopathy and physiotherapy: any other form of therapy must be performed by a suitably trained vet.