Manual Therapy is a specialized treatment approach that consists of hands-on techniques including joint mobilization, massage, and other interventions designed to mobilize joints, activate muscles, connective tissues, and stimulate nerves in order to facilitate healing and restore optimal function. This program is designed to teach canine rehabilitation practitioners’ canine peripheral joint and spinal biomechanics, and manual therapy techniques inclusive of joint mobilization, massage, and range of motion. Our courses are designed to provide clinicians with practical techniques that will change the way they practice and help patients achieve maximal outcomes.

This course is designed to teach the basic principles of manual therapy including massage/soft tissue mobilization, and joint mobilization, with an emphasis on the extremities.  Participants will combine online lecture material and hands-on experience with dogs as they learn these techniques.  Manual therapy concepts and evidence-based rationale for treatment selection are covered in depth.  Developing goal-focused treatment plans and assessing outcomes in canine rehabilitation patients will also be covered.

(RACE approved for 5.5 hours online lecture)

This program is delivered in a hybrid format of online lecture, hands on lab sessions, case studies and an online exam.

Course Details


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Course Length



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Learning Objectives

At the completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Have a working knowledge of the appendicular system, including bones, joints, articular surfaces, ligaments, muscles, and soft tissues.
  • Comprehend various selected manual therapy techniques including massage/soft tissue mobilization and joint mobilization.  Participants are encouraged to actively participate online and practice on their available animals.
  • Discuss the indications, precautions and contraindications to various manual therapy techniques (massage/soft tissue mobilization and joint mobilization).
  • Understand the basic principles of massage/soft tissue mobilization.
  • Understand the basic principles of joint mobilizations with an emphasis on the extremities along with normal and abnormal end feels.
  • Describe the common classifications of joint mobilization grades.
  • Determine how and when to incorporate massage/soft tissue mobilization and joint mobilization into a treatment regiment
  • Discuss trigger points, their etiology and management
  • Discuss muscle spasms, their etiology and management
  • Understand outcome measures and assessment techniques to guide the treatment progression


DVMs, LVTs, PTs, DCs (American Veterinary Chiropractic Association) must all have completed (or have completed the majority) of their CCRP or CCRT/CCRA training.



Module I Massage & Techniques
Unit 1: Why Do We Massage
Unit 2: Origins of Massage Therapy
Unit 3: Tools of Massage
Unit 4: Special Techniques & Theory
Unit 5: Where is this in Rehab?

Module II Joint Mobilization
Unit 1: Basic Principles of Joint Mobilization
Unit 2: Accessory Motions
Unit 3: Joint End Feels and their Significance
Unit 4: Grades of Mobilization, Part I
Unit 5: Grades of Mobilization, Part II

Module III Anatomy, Massage, and Mobilization of Limbs
Unit 1: Anatomy Review
Unit 2: Mobilizations
Unit 3: Distractions, Glides, Extensions
Unit 4: The Carpus and Thoracic Limb
Unit 5: Video Examples
Unit 6: Review, Bones & Joints
Unit 7: The Hip & Pelvic Limb
Unit 8: Massage of the Hip
Unit 9: Distractions & Compressions
Unit 10: The Stifle Joint
Unit 11: Stifle Extension, Hock & Foot
Unit 12: Tarsal Flexion
Unit 13: Spine & Lumbar Region


RACE Program Approval
Program Title: Introduction to Manual Therapy – Massage and Joint Mobilizations of the Limbs in Small Animals
Hours: 5.50 CE


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