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EVSO® Required standards of knowledge and competence for osteopathic practice in veterinary medicine


Faced with the strong development of complementary medicines in veterinary medicine and the important offer of therapists whose training remains very heterogeneous and rarely validated by the various national authorities, EVSO® proposes a reference system defining the minimum level of training of veterinarians practicing veterinary medicine osteopathic (MVO).
The different objectives of this reference are:

state the professional knowledge and skills necessary for the practice of the MVO;

provide the basis for clear communication within the veterinary profession and with the scientific community;

promote the integration of MVO into national animal health systems, particularly in the areas of education and research.



All the knowledge needed to obtain a veterinary doctor's degree.


In-depth knowledge of veterinary medicine:

  • In-depth knowledge of anatomy, including topographic anatomy, functional anatomy, and palpatory anatomy.

  • In-depth knowledge of physiology and physio-pathology.

  • In-depth knowledge of neurology, including the functioning and interrelations of the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous systems.

  • In-depth knowledge of vertebral and appendicular biomechanics.


In-depth knowledge of osteopathic veterinary medicine

  • Knowledge of the general history and evolution of manual medicine in the broad sense.

  • In-depth knowledge of basic concepts and principles of manual medicine and osteopathy.

  • In-depth knowledge of the anatomical and physiological interrelationships between the different tissues of the body.

  • In-depth knowledge of osteopathic biomechanics including interrelations between structure and function.

  • In-depth knowledge of MVO-specific diagnostic and therapeutic manual techniques including the principles and mechanisms of action of these techniques.



Diagnostic skills

Implementation of a protocol based on diagnostic techniques using the palpatory know-how specific to the MVO including:

  • the construction and execution of the diagnostic gesture,

  • the bodily positioning of the therapist and the patient,

  • the identification and location of restricted movement zones, using in particular micro and macro mobility evaluation techniques.

Linkage of palpatory diagnosis with allopathic diagnosis based on taking into account the animal as a whole

Therapeutic skills

Implementation of a manual therapy protocol including:

  • the methods of construction and execution of the therapeutic act,

  • the particularities of positioning related to each animal species,

  • the implementation of all the manual therapeutic techniques adapted to the diagnosis posed: including structural techniques, functional, myotensive, neurovascular, using micro and macro-mobility.


EVSO® recommends the writing of an MVO consultation report readable by all veterinarians, whether or not they are trained in osteopathy.


Training modalities

For any veterinary doctor graduated or in training.
Minimum training: 300 hours of theoretical instruction and 200 hours of practical instruction spread over 2 years.


The principles set out in this reference document can be used as a basis for the establishment of qualification or accreditation systems for MVO practitioners in different European countries. These systems will improve information for pet owners and the safety of treated animals.
EVSO® is committed to follow closely all the research carried out in the field of the MVO in order to update this reference system according to the evolution of scientific demonstrations and data based on the evidence.