Sharon Winkler Osteopathy for People & Animals
Please note that due to a fault on the line, our usual phone number is temporarily out of order. Please ring us on 01707 264037 instead.
Telephone: 01707 257880
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The Sharon Winkler Osteopathic Practice - BSc (Hons) Ost, PG Cert (Small Animal Rehabilitation Therapy)
Please note that due to a fault on the line, our usual phone number is temporarily out of order. Please ring us on 01707 264037 instead.
Find us on Facebook  Follow us on Instagram

What to expect during your pet's visit

We understand that your pet may feel anxious being brought to their first Osteopathy appointment, so this page is designed to help you prepare for his/her visit.

Our Small Animals Osteopathy is handled by Sharon Winkler, who has extensive experience in this field, and a genuine passion for treating animals.

Relaxing Dogs

Please rest assured that our emphasis is on creating a calm and relaxing experience for your pet, and most owners report that their pets appear very pleased to return should any further appointments be needed!

We hope you find the following information useful but are always happy to answer any further questions you might have prior to your visit. We look forward to meeting you and your pet soon.

Before your first appointment

Telephone conversation:

We conduct a short telephone conversation with every new client, to help us establish whether Osteopathy is the right treatment for your pet. We will ask for your contact details, as well as your pet’s name, age, breed, and the name of your veterinary practice.

To make a booking please call us on 01707 257 880 / email us at or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch.

Veterinary consent:

A booking can be made during our initial telephone conversation. We will then contact your pet’s veterinary surgeon for consent to see them, as this is a legal requirement. We will also ask your veterinary surgery for your pet’s clinical history, so we have all the relevant information before your appointment.

We will email you a questionnaire to complete and bring to your pet’s first appointment. This gives us their history from you, their owner’s perspective.

Where to go:

We treat animals at the Bishops Veterinary Surgery, Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Telephone: 01707 272772. Please have this telephone number with you when you travel and call the surgery should you be delayed or need any last-minute directions.

Parking is in the Aldi supermarket complex. There is one-hour free parking, but as you are likely to be in the building for more than one hour, we advise you buy a ticket for 2 hours. Do park in an unnumbered bay.

The Bishops Veterinary Surgery

You will find the surgery a few yards along the walkway adjacent to Aldi. It is the last shop front on the left. Just announce your arrival to the receptionist and take a seat in the reception area.

What happens during your pet's appointment?

Case history:

The clinical history from your vet will have been studied prior to the appointment and we will have read through the completed questionnaire you have provided. We will ask you further questions about your pet’s lifestyle, such as whether they are a pet or working or sporting dog; and their problem (if applicable), during the consultation.

Some owners bring their dogs for treatment with a view to preventing injury and maintaining them in good condition. This is very common in sporting and working dogs, where maintenance and performance enhancement is required. Osteopathic treatment is also very helpful for middle aged and elderly animals; and young animals with developmental issues such as hip dysplasia.

Physical examination:

We will come and collect you and your pet from the waiting room.

The Bishops Veterinary Surgery reception

In the case of dogs, we will take you both outside for the first part of the assessment. At this stage, we will observe your dog walking on the lead at varying speeds and directions.

We will then go back into the practice to the consultation room where your dog can be taken off the lead to investigate the room, while you will be asked some further questions to help us find out more about him/her.

Cats are not assessed outside! They can be brought straight into the consultation room in their carrier. They are normally assessed on the treatment table; but sometimes on the large therapy mat on the floor.

The physical examination may include assessment of the spine and limbs, evaluating joints, muscles and fascia, the connecting tissues.

Following the assessment, a treatment plan is formulated based on the physical findings and case history.


Treatment is gentle and we always take care to work with your dog/cat and his/her individual comfort levels. Some animals may be a bit wary on their first visit, but once they realise it feels nice and they feel better, they are often very keen to come back to our practice!

The treatment is tailored to the individual needs of the patient. Dogs are generally treated on the floor on the large, comfortable therapy mat.

Treatment may include massage, manipulation, stretching, functional technique or the cranial osteopathic technique. Electrotherapy is sometimes used too. Therapeutic exercise may be used in the session and is often shown to owners to carry out at home.

Osteopathy is usually well-received by animals and it is not uncommon for dogs to end up snoozing by the end.

How long will it take?

First appointments will usually take about 1 hour, with any follow-up appointments taking around 45 minutes.

Follow-up care

Any follow-up appointments will be discussed during the first appointment.

Owners are often given advice on how to prevent further injury and help their pet recover. Owners may also be shown therapeutic exercise and techniques to carry out at home.

We pride ourselves on our patient follow-up care and work closely with you to ensure you feel confident with any exercises and techniques to aid with your pet’s ongoing care.

It is our aim to make your visit a relaxing and positive experience for both owner and animal. As a small and friendly practice, we are always happy to provide any follow-up advice you might need after the appointment, or even just to have a quick chat if you have any questions about your pet, whenever you need us.

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Areas Covered include Barnet, Brookmans Park, Harpenden, Hatfield, Hertford, Hitchin, Letchworth, Knebworth, Potters Bar, Radlett, Stevenage, St. Albans, Watford, Welham Green, Welwyn & Welwyn Garden City