RAMP Survey – support your profession

Just a quick reminder – RAMP survey.

Back in May, we posted this to the Facebook group, but RAMP would love a better response. If you didn’t complete this short survey, please take 10 minutes to do it today. It’s important for our profession. 

By Jo Paul (President of RAMP)

Dear All,

We now hope parliamentary time to debate the legislation around veterinary care for animals will be within the next few months. RAMP is interested in the changes that will allow a sensible future for MSK Allied Professionals. As a Council we are working hard to advocate that fully regulated Practitioners can work alongside vets as first opinion autonomous practitioners, similar to the status we have in human healthcare. Our fear is if we don’t get this change now the issue will not be revisited for many years to come.We think this is the only sensible way forwards but we need to evidence this and check with Practitioners that this is what they want.

So, please can you share this survey with your colleagues. It does not matter if they are RAMP registrants or not, we want to get an industry overview. 

It is short and should take less than 10 mins to complete. you for your support with this, the more response we get the more powerful the message will be to the decision makers.

Best regards,

Jo Paul MCSP RAMP President

the Donkey Sanctuary

Message from the Donkey Sanctuary in Devon. 

Please read and engage – it doesn’t take long

Dear AAO followers

We have developed a short survey to ascertain the geographic distribution, experience and memberships of professionals working with and treating equids – specifically donkeys. We would really appreciate it if you were able to distribute it to your members (or any other equine facing professional service providers) either via email, your website, newsletters, forums or your usual channel for disseminating information to your members. We have written a short text to explain why we are distributing a survey which can accompany the link below:

The Donkey Sanctuary have recently started an ambitious 5 year project to look at all aspects of donkey ownership in the UK and Ireland. One element of the project is to ensure access to professional support and advice so that donkeys will be kept in stable, long term homes with good health and welfare. We need to gather some baseline data to help inform the project. We would like to understand the geographic distribution of professional service providers, and the training and/or experience they have working with donkeys. The advice that your industry can give to owners on the specific needs of the donkey is vital and therefore we would appreciate your help in collecting data for this survey.

We have kept the survey very brief – it should take approximately two minutes to complete. We would appreciate it if you would fill out the survey and forward the survey to any other equine industry professional service providers that you have contact with and who work in the UK and Republic of Ireland. We greatly value your input in this process and would like to thank you for filling out the survey. Please click on this link to access the survey:

Kind regards and thankyou in advance,

Tamlin Watson

Senior Researcher (Global)

Research and Operational Support


The Donkey Sanctuary| Sidmouth | Devon | EX10 0NU




This event will give UK Animal Osteopaths a fabulous chance to talk to Council members of RAMP directly, so you can feel more confident about their plans and direction.

I know many of you are a little confused by RAMP and “what it means for you” So, please take the time to show up and listen. You will learn a lot about how Animal Osteopathy fits into RAMP and how RAMP is fighting to make our profession a valuable regulated profession that the public and other professionals can respect and trust.

Zoom link:

When: May 19, 2022 18:30 London

Register in advance for this meeting:…/tZEkdu2trjoqG9EnyXfTg7WMlICRh…

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

#animalosteopathyinternational #animalosteopathy #ramp

Talk to ramp

Calling all UK-based animal osteopaths

On the 10th January at 19:00hrs those of you who live and work in the UK, have an opportunity to meet with members of the RAMP Council. To ask questions and to learn more about the organisation. RAMP has worked tirelessly for almost a decade for the regulation of physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors who work with animals. To raise the educational bar and encourage best practice for the sake of the animals we treat and their owners. The Register has also become a go-to place for vets and owners to seek qualified practitioners who fulfil RAMP criteria. A link to the event can be found on our Facebook group

Insurance Concerns

Don't get caught - beware online only courses

Whilst all practitioners have benefited from the use of online courses for CPD and enhanced learning, it is important to realise that some insurance companies will not cover you for practical techniques that have no (or minimal) live components to develop and assess your learning. Most practitioners would understand this, but there is an increasing number of practitioners trying to take shortcuts to training and this has become a real concern to those of us who know only too well that you cannot learn osteopathic assessment and technique online. 

Blended learning (which teaches theory online and practicals face-to-face) can certainly allow for greater flexibility and is a really excellent way of learning if you are an international student. But courses that are taught solely online – or with minimal hands-on (face-to-face) practical should be approached with caution and carefully evaluated. 

If you are looking to study animal osteopathy as a new career, AAO would recommend that you look carefully at the prerequisites, the indicative content, the methods of teaching that are used, and the support mechanisms the school has in place. 

Check that the provider offers you live support, solid theoretical knowledge and face-to-face practical classes with your peers, so you can learn from each other and your lecturers. There should be proper practical assessments (in person), so you can be sure that whatever you have been taught and assessed to do on animals is safe and correct, and there should be some case-based learning to contextualise your knowledge, supported by written exams to evaluate your progress. Without a robust education in animal osteopathy, not only may you struggle to get insurance, you may also be at risk of hurting an animal. 

Unless you are already highly experienced practitioner, merely seeking to enhance your knowledge base, please be careful of the courses you choose and be sure to contact your insurance companies in advance, if you are learning new techniques which do not fall under your current scope of practice. 

News from New Zealand

By Sarah Wisson

It has been just over a year, since NZ came out of the 6-week “lockdown” due to COVID 19. In that period, no one was working except the emergency services, medical & veterinary emergency staff Supermarkets were functioning, but that was about it. It was an unusual time for us all.

For many of us in our profession, we were able to do some work by tele-health, and it was amazing to see what one could achieve through a simple video call; such as asking clients to perform examinations & treatments on their own animals to assist recovery. Unfortunately however, under such circumstances, some animals were seen too late, rendering recovery impossible. In these cases, lives were sadly lost. Other cases resulted in prolong recovery, which has resulted in permanent issues for those animals and their owners.

Since returning to work, post-lockdown, (which has been just over a year), we have seen a lot of changes. People have brought puppies and horses, because of the lack of travel. They’ve had more time at home, making a long-term desire to have an animal around, a reality. This has caused an increase in demand, and prices to escalate.

In my professional career, I’ve never seen so many young dogs in the community, often owned by ill-prepared owners. Whether it’s down to a lack of education, or too much enthusiasm, the result is the same. Over worked animals that are suffering as a result. Over working young dogs as all therapists should know, puts intense strain on the animal’s joints, muscles and connective tissue. All of which are still growing. They simply lack the skeletal maturity for what the owner wants to do, so education becomes essential.

The same situation arises in horses. People buy a new horse and expects miracles. They forgets to build a relationship, work with the horse on the groundwork, allow the horse time to adapt to their new surroundings and be taught gently and kindly how to understand their new owner’s demands. The result? Lameness and injury.

As practitioners we must strive to educate our clients and the wider public audience (who are potential buyers of these animals). We need to encourage people to learn more about their animals, so that they can care appropriately for them and do what is right. Too often, owners buy what they can afford (especially in the case of a horse), and then grow increasingly frustrated when the horse can’t do what they want. This creates a vicious cycle that rarely ends well, and the same can happy with young puppies, who will pull on a lead repeatedly or chew new shoes, because they know no better.

Owning an animal is a responsibility and an honour, and it is our job, as animal osteopaths to educate our communities. Doing so, could save a lot of pain and sadness in the long-term. For the owner and the animal.

With an increase of animals in the community, we have also seen an increase the number of people wanting to work and treat animals. In NZ there is no registered body, or animal course that is recognized or accepted by any accrediting body. We have seen a few students in the osteopathic course at ARA in Christchurch NZ undertake studies with Animal International Osteopathy and the AAO is currently building a greater presence, so that it can support NZ practitioners. This is a welcomed situation, as all new practitioners, need to have an Association to reach out to for advice and support.

If you are a new practitioner in New Zealand, please reach out to AAO today. Our aim is to provide standards and guidelines for all who treat animals functionally/osteopathically, so please reach out if you need support.

Calling for observation opportunities

Message from the Osteopathic Alliance and iO

This article is relevant to UK-based osteopaths

As we cautiously move to more normalised activities, we are receiving increasing requests about observational practice visits. In response, the Osteopathic Alliance (OA) and the iO are collaborating to encourage osteopaths who are willing to open for observations to add their details to the iO Mentoring platform which has been expanded to facilitate these opportunities.  

Nadine Hobson, Chair of the OA, the coalition of osteopathic post-registration colleges, said of the initiative: “Having incorporated observational practice visits into our courses and teaching clinics for a long time, the OA understand the value these bring to osteopathic development. There is a long history within the profession of experienced practitioners providing an opportunity to those that wish to shadow and observe the realities of working in private practice, whilst gaining further insights into Osteopathic thinking and clinical reasoning processes in patient care and partnership.“We would like to encourage principals to re-introduce this practice and support the new generation of osteopaths now graduating. It is a simple process, just complete an online form and you will be matched with suitable observers.”

The iO has always held the view that osteopaths can only benefit from working and sharing with other osteopaths. Matthew Rogers, Head of Professional Development at the iO expands: “It is common practice amongst healthcare professions that peer or student observations take place. Indeed, for many, it is considered an integral part of the CPD and professional development process. For practitioners being shadowed, it provides an opportunity to support recruitment, extend professional networks and engage with other practitioners to mutually share knowledge for the benefit of patient care.”

As we cautiously move to a situation where more normalised activities resume, we are receiving increasing requests from practitioners on how they can resume observations safely.  To provide assurances to clinic principals and practitioners who would like to provide these valuable opportunities, we have developed a guide ‘Best practice for observations/shadowing in private practice’. The guide clearly outlines the expectations and protocols that are expected of observers, as well as those being shadowed.  So why not add your name as one of the practitioners open for observations, share your knowledge, and provide a valuable experience to the upcoming generation of osteopaths.

DOWNLOAD: Best Practice for observations/shadowing in private practice.

Sign up HERE to add your name as ‘open for observations’.


Preparation for the relaxation of lockdown 

Dear all, 

As you are aware, the release of guidelines by the RCVS takes effect in England and Northern Ireland as of the 12th April, This enables practitioners across these counties to join our colleages in Wales and Scotland in returning to full clinical practice rather than essential/urgent services. 

RCVS will remove the flow charts previously used to support decision making and practitioners are asked to provide services in accordance with their professional judgment whilst remembering to continue undertaking the ongoing required biosecurity and social distancing measures as well as additional relevant government guidelines and restrictions. 

This has been a long road, and whilst we are not fully out of the end yet, many of our animal patients need MSK attention. RAMP holds animal welfare as a priority and while we have previously advocated treatment for urgent cases only inline with government and RCVS guidlines, we are aware that many regular patients are deteriorating without on-going treatment. We welcome the ability for our practitioners to offer care as appropriate to the wider animal population once again. However, the threat of Covid remains and social distancing is still in place which provides us with our biggest logistical challenge therefore we highlight that the professional judgement of the practitioner should always lead the decision as to whether it is safe to attend and treat an animal and remain conscious not only of their own safety but that of their owners and animals. 

Beyond the change in scope of practice, many of the previous guidelines remain regarding biosecurity, social distancing and safety measures. 

To remind you, here are some points that should be taken into account: 

  1. Animals with demonstrable pain and welfare issues should be seen, these may include all pathologies. 

  1. A pre-visit risk assessment and telephone call is essential. Gain as much information prior to the visit as possible to minimise contact time. If appropriate, would the use of an oral sedative, supplied by the clients’ vet to the client, mitigate risk? Do you have access to a responsible ‘safe’ handler that can attend with you? 

  1. No appointments should be made with anyone who has Covid symptoms or who is in close contact with anyone with Covid symptoms. There must be a 10-day quarantine period for them, prior to seeing them. Consider the suitability of wearing a mask to reduce the risk of the practitioner spreading Covid between yards/clients. Consider asking owners/handlers to wear masks to reduce the risk of transmission to the practitioner. 

  1. If you have symptoms do not treat, get tested, and await a clear result, prior to seeing any clients. 

  1. Animals with owners in the vulnerable categories should not be treated in the normal way. Try to see if any other approach other than face to face can be used or if there are mediated ways of treating the animal in person. 

  1. Small animals should be seen in a clinic setting, (physio or vet) rather than home visits if possible, as cleanliness, disinfection and biosecurity are easier to control. If home visits are necessary, ensure that no other pets/family etc are present. In a clinic setting explore the possibility of treatment without owner present. Risk assess home visits very carefully. 

  1. Yard visits- Risk assess individual setups. As a professional you will be aware of the situations, and risks, at each of your regular yards. Some may be relatively ‘safe’, others less so. The decision to attend a client should be dictated by the risk assessment. 

  1. Home/yard visits, ask for gates to be opened and closed for you to minimise touching surfaces. No loose dogs/cats around that could transmit virus via petting, ensure animal is ready and waiting for you (ie no putting on headcollars, leads etc and unnecessary handling of owners equipment), carry your own soap and towels to wash between visits and ask for a fresh bucket of warm water or easy access to sink to wash. Accept no refreshments. 

  1. Other considerations, can the animal be left tied up with the owner at an appropriate distance? If not, are there any other strategies to improve safety and appropriately handle and restrain the animal. Is this a safe approach for you, the client and the animal? 

  1. Is this animal safe to treat with these restrictions in place? 

  1. All visits should be risk assessed and the results documented. Including those where treatment is refused and the reasons why, with documented details of the explanation to the client. 

  1. Payment- attempt to remove the need to handle payments. Request payment by BACS/credit card/paypal. 

  1. This is not a return to normal, please follow all PPE, and government guidelines and advice.. 

This is not an exhaustive list of all the possible considerations and scenarios but some guidance. Your professional judgement and expert opinion should be used at all stages to ensure yours and the client’s safety while also minimising the risks of spreading Covid 19. 

The professional judgement of the practitioner, based on a thorough risk assessment, should always lead the decision as to whether it is safe to attend and treat an animal. 

Your professional Associations will offer instruction of their plans for relaxation of lockdown restrictions, please pay heed to their guidance. 

The RAMP team

Prince Philip 1921 – 2021

”It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”

Prince Philip was an honorary member of the Jockey Club since 1947, around the same time he became a naturalised British subject and married [the then] Princess Elizabeth. He was made a prince ten years later.

He saw active service in the Royal Navy throughout World War II, and was a qualified pilot, flying almost 6,000 hours in 59 types of aircraft. It was whilst he was stationed in Malta from 1949 to 1951 that HRH took up polo, which he played until 1971.

When arthritis and age forced him to quit, he took up carriage driving, a sport he continued to take part in into his 90s.

“I started driving because I’d been playing polo and I decided I would give up polo when I was 50. And I was looking around to see what next and what there was available. And I suddenly thought we’ve got horses and carriages so why don’t I have a go?”

But he wasn’t satisfied with just ‘having a go’.

Opening wereldkampioenschappen vierspannen op Het Loo ; Prins Phillip (Engeland) in aktie met vierspan *11 augustus 1982 – image by Hans van Dijk / Anefo created 1982

The early rule book was drafted under his supervision, and he was instrumental in getting the carriage driving three-day event included in the Windsor Show in the 1970s.

Photography led him to bird watching, which, in turn [eventually], led to the founding of the WWF in 1961, of which he was president from 1981 to 1996.

He was involved in many conservation efforts throughout his lifetime, from establishing an alliance between religious leaders and conservationists, to travelling across the Southern Pacific Ocean and Antarctica to identify native seabirds. For much of his married life, he took a close interest in the management of The Queen’s Private Estates, Sandringham and Balmoral, as well as Windsor Great and Home Parks. Because of this, over five thousand trees and several miles of hedges are planted at Sandringham each year, ten wetland areas have been created, and sympathetic farming practices encourage many different species of wildlife.

Among unusual official presents received by Prince Philip were two pygmy hippopotamuses given by President Tubman of Liberia following his state visit to England in 1961.

He became a Knight of the Order of the Elephant in Denmark, and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion.

On this sad occasion, the AAO offer our sincere condolences to his widow, Her Majesty The Queen.