If we cannot communicate, we cannot understand.

Understanding our patients is vital.

Most of us know that animals communicate differently, so it is essential that ethnology and learning theory are included in osteopathic training. How else can we understand their behaviour?

Evaluating an animal’s body language, movement patterns, and nonverbal cues is critical to the success of a case. We must listen to the animal, comprehend what they are “saying,” and marry that information with the facts found by our hands. In this way, we can connect the dots. 

This is particularly important in animal osteopathy, where we concentrate on causative factors rather than symptomatology, which is why our academic programmes include ethnology and equine/canine learning theory. 

By decreasing the stressors we observe during a consultation, we can assist the animal to achieve good health through their self-healing mechanism. 

Moreover, having this knowledge allows us to communicate with our patients in a way they understand and allows us to work “with” our patients, not “on” our patients. 

Ignorance is one of the main reasons that animals suffer. 

Our students are taught to understand their patients, so they never misinterpret pain for “bad behaviour”. They learn a wide range of stereotypies, learning models and how to address general behaviours from our in-house behaviourist, Bettina Hvidmose, who has worked with animals for over 25 years. In this way, our students can approach their patients with an understanding mind and treat them appropriately. 


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