Osteopathy Coming to a screen near you

by Zoo Ost Ltd

Introducing Dr Zoo Little

For all of us involved in hands on manually applied therapy for animals one of the key issues we face on a daily basis is in getting across an accurate description of what we think has happened to the patient, how we intend to assist in repair and recovery, and what an owner needs to do, and avoid, in order to close the circle.

Yet how often do we find as we engage in our enthusiastic explanation, and description of injury processes, and the body’s repair mechanism the response that this triggers is very often in the form of “So has it put its pelvis out again?”

Some further explaining then often leads to the knock out punch line “So are you going to pop it back in now!” At this point I am fighting to control the urge to hit the DGMS button (Don’t get me started) because if I had a £1.00 for every time I’ve been asked this I could buy the island next to Richard Branson’s.

For as long as there have been people willing to try to help with the recovery of movement based issues with animals, there have also been urban, and rural myths as to what these issues are really caused by. Over 100 years ago we didn’t have the luxury of all the high tech diagnostic kit that even a humble practitioner has access to, nor was there any form of structured research data available at the click of a mouse (the non furry type that is).

As nature abhors a vacuum, these early practitioners came up with words and phrases to placate owners, and patients (if they also treated people). This was fine way back in the day, but what makes it tough for all of us is that there are still some people out there using these antique phases, which also include “I think its slipped a disc, could you pop it back?” and the other gem when a horse has seriously gone through the wringer “Can you point to where the problem is?” expecting an area about the size of a 5p coin to be the entire source of the problem when it has taken a rotational fall at full steam.

It’s not the owner’s fault that these phases are still in modern use, and it’s not the fault of all of us who are likely to read this magazine. It’s a more global lack of any awareness of what it actually is that we all do. No matter how many talks we give, we are only ever speaking to small percentages of the population. What’s needed is a bigger platform, or arena. What’s needed is some serious amount of media minutes. Enough to actually convey in a blend of information and entertainment what happens to the body with injury, aging, and congenital issues; what we do physically, and from a physiological point of view when applying our skills; and what can be done to support and prevent further problems.

Well, this is going to happen. In fact it is already in the making. A totally brand new, 6 part series for the SKY network focusing initially on osteopathy, but in future series opening up to include all of us who dedicate our careers to helping improve the lives of animals.

To aid with the visualisation of injury and repair mechanisms there will be inclusion of CGI to allow the viewer under the skin, scales, and feathers of our patients, and take the viewer on a journey through the whole process with some real life cases.

Because this has never been done before, and because the principal presenter doesn’t have a life long career already in television this has resulted in the series being supported by a vigorous crowd funding project where literally anyone with an interest can come on board and become part of this exciting, ground breaking project.

The series is being hosted by Tony Nevin and is titled Dr Zoo Little. There is already an active FaceBook page by the same name, which charts all of the activity to date, including some pilot filming and chat shows that have all been created to test out the logistics of the whole project.

This has ranged from filming in a studio environment with all the kit one could think of within arms reach, to sweating it out in tropical jungle with the absolute basics, and lots of elephants that just love to dismantle expensive electronic equipment!

This venture is the brainchild of two dedicated individuals, Stewart Lawley of VTelevision, and Tony Nevin of Zoo Ost Ltd. They have worked together in the past and have always wanted to produce a series that really sets the record straight. Both are fed up with the way any animal related stories get used as humorous news fillers on television, rather than taken seriously. With the advent of so many more TV channels, and the expansion of social media, it is now possible to both create, and get a channel to air this series.

By keeping the production team small, and buying in specific skill sets when required they are able to focus on creating sequences that really bring to life what we do, by telling the story in a way that the viewer can relate to.

Although this is a major step up for Tony he is no stranger to being shoved in front of the camera, and has taken a crash course in media presentation to further improve his delivery, yet the fact that a real clinician will be in the driving seat is a rare opportunity and Tony is fully aware that a lot is riding on this first series. Hopefully we can all benefit from it, as can our future patients.

Over the coming months there will be a ramping up of social media coverage, a potential small radio programme, and a new blog to support the making and marketing of the Dr Zoo Little series. There are very real opportunities for individuals and companies to get on board, either with the Kickstarter crowd funding pathway, or through advertising on the forthcoming website and social media platforms. This is our chance to bring animal therapy further into the light. This magazine has done a lot of hard work so far; let’s keep the momentum going. Come and join us……..please!

Tony Nevin