Students across our academic disciplines find themselves inspired to start up their own businesses, seeking to put their knowledge into action and create their own entrepreneurial ventures. Maisie Fischer, who studied BSc (Hons) Veterinary Physiotherapy and graduated this year, has done just that, building a brand and name for herself as Stafford Veterinary Physiotherapy.
Talking about her new business endeavour, Maisie said: “I set up Stafford Veterinary Physiotherapy in September with an online presence whilst we were waiting for our certificates and insurance. I am looking to start treating from October.
“When I am treating, I am looking to be both mobile and home-based, hoping to get a variety of animals.
"I want to spread the word about feline physiotherapy as many dogs get physiotherapy but it is somewhat limited with the cats. Cats also suffer from many musculoskeletal issues, such as cruciate ruptures, patella luxations and osteoarthritis. I want to help those cats that are less mobile than they used to be and educate owners on behavioural changes they can look out for in their cats.”
Maisie’s love of animals is clear, stemming back to caring and raising animals herself. She commented: “I have always wanted to work with animals, from raising two guide dog puppies at 17 years old to many years of volunteering with the RSPCA.
"What made me fall in love with veterinary physiotherapy was a very positive story from a friend. In 2013, a friend's dog just slipped catching a ball and was suddenly paralysed after rupturing a disc. After months of rehabilitation and physiotherapy, he was walking and running around. He is now 17 years old! That’s when I knew I wanted to be able to make that difference, and help those that can’t ask for help.”
With her online presence growing, Maisie spoke about her current projects on her Facebook and Instagram: “I am actually posting a few different things on social media - Muscle Monday’s is one of my favourite posts I do weekly. This helps others learn about the muscles of the dog and cat; I break it down to make it more understandable.”
Understanding the fundamentals is Maisie’s advice for others interested in becoming a veterinary physiotherapist. She said: “I would suggest getting to know the anatomy really well. Once you know where the muscles come from and insert, it is much easier to know where to target treatment.
“Also they must know it is not an easy course. I won’t lie, it was very tough at times, but the Harper lecturers are very supportive. Just don't be afraid to ask any questions, even if they sound silly.”
Asking those questions and gaining support was easy for Maisie with the supportive teaching team there to help at every step of the way. From the open day, Maisie knew Harper was the place for her, sharing: “I chose Harper due to the facilities they had and the welcoming environment. Everyone was really friendly on open days and interview days. I liked how the Veterinary Physiotherapy qualification was connected to NAVP and liked the layout of the course, including the placement year.”
Maisie certainly made use of her placement year, undertaking as many opportunities as possible to gain a range of experiences. She explained: “Placement year was split up into a few places. My first placement was at Mobility Matters Hydrotherapy Pool House Veterinary Hospital, where I was also working at the time. Here I would do a variety of things, from watching the vet surgeons perform orthopaedic surgeries, to carrying out hydrotherapy treatments.
“My next placement was at an equine stables which also had a hydrotherapy treadmill. A normal day here was mucking out, hand-walking horses on bed rest, and observing the hydrotherapy and rehabilitation sessions.
“Finally, I completed my equine placement at Pool House Equine Hospital, where I watched many lameness work ups, x-rays and ultrasounds.”
Although Maisie had a busy time at university, she looks back at the four years at Harper fondly. She said: “My favourite Harper memory would be the many sessions we had with the animals. It provided us a lot of experience with different behaviours, and of course we were able to just sit and cuddle them, which definitely helped as a stress relief!”
With all of her experiences, Maisie is equipped to handle a vast range of scenarios and help animals to find health and wellbeing once again. Should you be inspired by Maisie’s story, you can find out more about our veterinary physiotherapy course here. You can also speak to members of the teaching team, explore campus, and discover more about student life at our Virtual Open Day, October 10. Register now!