Allied Professionals | BEVA
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Working with Allied Professionals

Allied professionals play a crucial role in the healthcare of our horses. It is important that everyone works together to provide the highest levels of care to our patients.

Equine Dental Technicians
Veterinary surgeons may be contacted by owners to provide sedation so their horse can be worked on by an equine dental technician (EDT). BEVA would recommend only working with those who are members of the British Association of Equine Dental Technicians (BAEDT) or Category 2 members of the World Wide Association of Equine Dentists (WWAED), as these technicians have undergone approved examinations to attain their qualifications. Both societies encourage their members to keep up to date; those that don’t will often be removed from their society's list of members. As a result, there may be some EDTs who have passed the required examinations but do not appear on the list. Others may choose not to renew their membership for various reasons, so it is important to check the current lists not historical qualifications. PRACTICE POLICY It is up to each practice to develop their own policy regarding sedation but many practices will only provide sedation for clients who are using those EDTs on the lists. We would encourage you to develop a policy on sedation that requires as much information to be given by the owner at the time of booking the appointment, so that there is no need for an ‘on yard’ confrontation. We have developed an interactive flow chart to assist in booking these appointments. There is tight control over procedures that equine dental technicians may perform. The list in full can be accessed here. BEVA would advise members sedating for dental technicians to closely define what procedures are going to be performed, ideally before sedation or after initial examination, to avoid unwittingly allowing a Category 3 procedure to be performed.
Who can do what in a horse's mouth?
Unqualified EDTs

An unqualified EDT can only carry out Category 1 procedures:

  • Rasp teeth with hand floats
  • Examine mouths
Qualified EDTs

Qualified EDTs are those who are current members of either BAEDT or WWAED.

They can perform Category 1 and Category 2 procedures:

  • Cat 1 procedures (above)
  • Use power tools to rasp teeth
  • Remove loose teeth (incisors/cheek teeth) with negligible periodontal ligaments
  • Extract erupted, non-displaced wolf teeth under direct and continuous veterinary supervision
Veterinary Surgeons

A veterinary surgeon can perform any dental procedure which is within their own area of competence.

Dentistry Resources

We've provided guidance, tools and references to help you when carrying out a dental examination.

See all dentistry resources

Sedating for non-vet procedures

We've developed guidance to help you understand what you are responsible for, and what you are not responsible for.

View guidance
Musculoskeletal Therapists
Many organisations and individuals offer musculoskeletal (MSK) therapies for horses, which can cause confusion for horse owners and veterinary surgeons alike.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are all musculoskeletal therapists equally qualified?

Many musculoskeletal therapists hold a qualification but there is a wide variation in the required depth of knowledge and experience. Some qualifications demand independently accredited degrees and post graduate training whereas others are awarded following short part-time courses.

What do the different musculoskeletal therapy titles mean?

The titles “Chiropractor,” “Osteopath” and “Chartered Physiotherapist” are legally protected and can only be used by regulated practitioners of chiropractic (commonly using spinal manipulation/chiropractic adjustment), osteopathy (commonly using physical manipulation, stretching and massage), and physiotherapy (commonly using manual therapy, specific movements and therapeutic exercises)

These titles provide assurance that the individuals are professionals who have undergone (and passed) degree-level training in their subject, have the depth of knowledge and the level of skills for them to legally treat human patients, are independently regulated, and carry professional indemnity insurance.

However, prefixing titles with words such as ‘animal’, ‘veterinary’ or ‘equine’ (e.g. ‘equine physiotherapist’) renders them unprotected; anyone can call themselves a ‘veterinary physiotherapist’ whether they have received any sort of training or not.

Why are there so many different associations?

Within the musculoskeletal therapy field there are many overlapping philosophies regarding how animal injuries should be best approached and what level of knowledge, training and skills are necessary in order to safely provide treatment. These differing philosophies have resulted in the formation of many different associations, each of which seeks to promote and protect their own views.

Membership of some groups/associations is only open to independently regulated professionals e.g. The Society of Osteopaths in Animal Practice (SOAP) The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy (ACPAT) , McTimoney Chiropractic Association Animal Group (MCA), The British Veterinary Chiropractic Association (BVCA)

How are musculoskeletal therapists regulated?

There is no legal requirement for a musculoskeletal therapist to be regulated in the UK. This potentially puts horses, their owners, and any referring vet at risk in the event that something should go wrong during treatment.

An independent professional regulator, like the RCVS, ensures a high level of educational standards and provides complaints and disciplinary processes to ensure that professionals are accountable for their actions. Chiropractors, osteopaths and chartered physiotherapists are all independently regulated in the UK; other musculoskeletal therapists, including non-chartered physiotherapists, are not.

Some associations of musculoskeletal therapists provide a degree of self-regulation, but this is fundamentally different from independent regulation.

BEVA considers that independent regulation provides the greatest level of protection for horse and owner.

How do I know if a musculoskeletal therapist is 'independently' regulated?

Therapist’s names (or registration numbers if they have provided these) can be quickly and easily checked against the registers on the regulators’ websites: the General Chiropractic Council at, the General Osteopathic Council at, or the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, via the Health and Care Professions Council at

I have received a request from a musculoskeletal therapist asking for my consent for them to treat to a horse that is registered with the practice. Should I sign it?

The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (VSA) stipulates that only vets are allowed to diagnose an injury and give advice based on the diagnosis. Therefore, under current legislation, a vet should examine the patient, make a diagnosis and decide on a course of action, before any form of therapy is administered. If the proposed therapy is a “physical therapy” it may be administered by any musculoskeletal therapist (regulated or not).

If you have examined the animal, diagnosed the condition, and prescribed a therapeutic approach then providing consent to the therapist is consistent with the letter of the VSA. If you have not examined the horse and diagnosed the condition then BEVA recommends that you do not provide formal consent but try to establish some kind of dialogue with the musculoskeletal therapist and owner to agree what is in the animal’s best interests.

It is worth noting that by signing a consent form you may be deemed to have some level of responsibility for any treatment administered.

What is the difference between musculoskeletal 'maintenance' and 'treatment'?

There is a grey area, which vets should be conscious of, relating to the differentiation between physiotherapy for maintenance and physiotherapy for the treatment and resolution of an injury.

The aim of maintenance physiotherapy should be to prevent objectively measurable deterioration in a patient’s condition and to sustain quality of life or performance. It is often used in elite equines to maintain function and optimize quality of movement.

It is common for musculoskeletal therapists to provide maintenance physiotherapy without veterinary direction.

BEVA considers this to be appropriate so long as the therapist is sufficiently well trained to recognize when veterinary intervention is required and sufficiently regulated to protect owner and horse.