There is a long history of physical therapy in the treatment of animals. A book on physical therapy for horses, written by the physiotherapist Sir Charles Strong, was published in 1967. Several other textbooks have been published on this topic over the years.
Although entry level physical therapy education does not include examination, evaluation, assessment, and treatment of animals, physical therapists in several countries have been leaders in the development of specialised educational programmes in the rehabilitation of animals. Many have groups for physical therapists in animal practice recognised by their national professional associations. These groups have been instrumental in establishing five international symposia on rehabilitation and physical therapy for animals since 1999.
There are regulatory and scope of practice issues that must be overcome in many countries in order for practice with animals to become established as an area of specialisation for licensed physical therapists.