Osteopathy is a healing philosophy developed by American frontier physician Andrew Still. In the late 1800s, Dr. Still formalized principles that still guide the osteopathic profession:

  • The body is a functional unit with an innate capacity for self repair and self healing.
  • Structure (anatomy) and function (physiology) are interrelated. Every part of a living body is an integral piece of the whole.
  • An unimpeded flow of blood, lymph, and nerve signals is essential to good health
  • Rational treatment is based on an understanding of the above three principles. (Sefinger et al., 2002).

Osteopaths use physical manipulation on the body, in an effort to mechanically release barriers impeding the nervous & circulatory systems from healing themselves.


In the 20th-century, recognition of osteopathy as a healing system spread. 

Eventually, it became clear that an osteopathic approach so successful in humans could be applied with equal success to animals. Joint strains, overuse of certain areas of the body, trauma-based injuries, as well as age-related problems are some of the common conditions seen in animal osteopathic practice.

As public demand for holistic therapeutic alternatives is increasing,  animal osteopathy is experiencing rapid professional growth in every corner of the world.


ASSESSMENT. A dog or a horse will communicate their physical discomfort by displaying behavior changes or decreased performance. Therapy begins by observing how the animal moves and examining the soft tissue and joints for a cause of restriction or pain.

TREATMENT. Using specific techniques, an osteopath will gently work on tissues and fascia to improve blood flow and regulate nerve supply. The ultimate goal is to return the animal to functional movement vital to every horse and dog.

PREVENTION. The major benefit of osteopathy is an improvement in animals’ overall health and agility. Regular osteopathic care has proven to help in injury prevention and rehabilitation in conditions such as arthritis, hind and foreleg lameness.