CAM blogs

CAM Meets Hannah Olliff-Lee

Hannah kindly agreed to answer the following questions…



What are your feelings on how we currently manage this common debilitating condition in dogs?

I feel this is one of the most under-diagnosed and noticed conditions in veterinary medicine, the issue being that due to the lack of education to the public about signs of pain and mobility changes. Joint management is a lifelong journey and I think we need to cultivate joint management norms in puppies such as training pups not to jump into cars, avoiding repetitive strain games and maintaining healthy weight. This will ultimately allow our pets to have a full, healthy, and happy life.


As a veterinary professional/rehabber what do you feel is essential for managing canine arthritis effectively?
There are so many things that can assist in managing arthritis including empowering vet nurses and animal care assistants to advocate for patient mobility and use physiotherapy techniques in a clinical setting. This will encourage them to educate owners about physiotherapy techniques which will improve the quality of life for our patients. This is why I created the Hands-On physiotherapy guide for Vet nurses! It helps provide nurses with the knowledge of manual physiotherapy techniques and the types of patients who would benefit from this type of therapy.


How do you see treatment options for arthritis progressing over the next ten years?
I hope with scientific research that we will have more knowledge about how the disease begins and the pain signs identified with it. It is my dream that owners can attend workshops in OA management and leave with the knowledge and skills to improve their pet’s life. However, I also believe we should be tackling causes of OA at the beginning of pet ownership. This means greater communication between the veterinary profession and the public.


If you could have the opportunity to give one tip/ piece of advice to an owner with a dog suffering from arthritis, what would it be?
The greatest tip I have is start young! Teach your dog at an early age to wait to be lifted into the car or to use a ramp. Ramp training is great for pups as you can start with it laid on the floor and begin lifting one end gradually. This will teach your pup body awareness and ensure they are comfortable using this skill in the future.



Hannah, also known as the physio vet nurse, qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2014 and as an animal physiotherapist in 2020. Hannah wanted to become a physiotherapist because she felt that rehabilitation wasn’t taught very well in nursing college, and she wanted to use her knowledge to teach others and help patients to experience better mobility care.   Hannah describes physiotherapy as the restoration of function and preservation of mobility. Her favourite saying is “restore function and do no harm”. Hannah performs hands on treatments using manual techniques such as massage and range of motion exercises and provides owners with a collection of exercises to improve their pets muscular tone and strength, alongside treating pets with a toolkit of scientifically proven machinery to provide pain relief and so much more. Hannah is passionate about exacting high standards of care and providing a holistic experience for her patients.