CAM blogs

CAM Meets Sarah Conley

Sarah Conley
MCSP HCPC ACPAT Cat A BSc Equine Science and Management MSc(Pre-reg) Physiotherapy PGDip Veterinary Physiotherapy PGCE RAMP
Chartered Physiotherapist

Following five years lecturing in equine studies and then working as Assistant Head of Department for Further Education at Myerscough College in Lancashire, Sarah became a Chartered Human Physiotherapist in 2012. Since then, she has worked as a human physiotherapist in both acute and primary care settings, before specialising in musculoskeletal physiotherapy.

After completing a post graduate diploma in Veterinary Physiotherapy at the University of Liverpool, Sarah now works as a  Veterinary Physiotherapist working with small animals at Davies Veterinary Specialists and freelance in equine practice.


Sarah Kindly agreed to answer the following questions;

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

Our understanding of arthritic pathologies in human populations is good however the wide ranging and individuality of presenting symptoms in addition to the stoicism of our pets demands a heightened level of assessment and a holistic view towards treatment for effective management. I believe we are equipped with a good range of mechanisms for treatment but this is vital along with ongoing education across the veterinary sector and the general public to encourage the use of these for our canine companions.


As a  veterinary physiotherapist what do you feel is essential for managing canine arthritis effectively?

Appreciation for the pathologic processes, thorough assessment, consideration of the individual animal, the social setting and home environment initially. A range of treatment approaches can provide significant gains for these animals. Without doubt management of these cases requires multidisciplinary treatment approaches, which I’m so grateful to have available at out clinic. Collaborating with specialists in pain management allows out team to provide a far more effective, holistic treatment approach.


How do you see treatment options for arthritis progressing over the next ten years?

Regenerative medicine is an exciting area of advancement and I would love to see this expand the treatment options for arthritic cases. In the shorter term, however I hope to see a broader appreciation & access to the currently available multimodal treatment approaches for these animals.


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?

I would advise that making small changes to everyday activities can enhance yours and your animal’s ability to cope with their altered functional movement. This information is a central part of physiotherapy assessment for these cases and accessing a service like this would be hugely beneficial.