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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Rehabilitation Therapy for Dogs

Canine rehabilitation therapy is a practice that uses different treatment modalities to improve function in dogs with various orthopedic or neurological injuries or diseases. It is commonly used post-operatively in dogs having had a fracture repaired or even back surgery to fix a blown disk (yup, dogs get these, too). It is also commonly used in the ever-increasing problem of canine obesity.
I became especially interested in canine rehab after a conference in Toronto, where I met two certified rehab vets who do rehab work at a veterinary surgical practice north of Toronto (click here to see this practice and its impressive facilities). These vets were young, enthusiastic, and were truly making a difference, a significant difference, in the lives of these dogs.
This interest has brought me to Colorado, where I am right now typing this blog. I have just completed the first of at least three 6-day courses that eventually lead to a certificate in canine rehabilitation, through the Canine Rehabilitation Institute, or CRI.
I cannot sufficiently laud the course, instructors, assistants, and facilities. They were spectacular. Though it has been about eight years since I had to absorb that much material, it was an amazing learning experience.
By no means was the course simple. On the contrary, I often had difficulty with some concepts. In the end, though, I believe I gleaned what was necessary.
I am looking forward to the other canine rehab courses and extremely excited to incorporate rehab into my work in the near future.

Got this photo on Flickr. This is Zeke on an underwater treadmill after knee surgery. This exercise will significantly hasten his return to normal function. Isn't this amazing?


Mel said...

How nice that you found something that inspires you, and in an area with such potential for growth, too. I think that most of us get stuck in that traditional practice mindset and don't take the time to explore the options that are out there for us.

TorontoVet said...

Thanks, Mel. I'm pretty excited about it.

Gaya said...

This is amazing. I was watching this documentary last night about a few clinics on Vancouver Island that have the underwater treadmill for dogs, but they also had treadmills next to the underwater one for pet owners to run on so that the dog feels more at ease. I thought it was pretty awesome.

I hope you're enjoying what you're learning. I'm sure you'll be great once you're practicing it, even if the concepts seem like a challenge now.

TorontoVet said...

I absolutely love the idea of the owner also running on a treadmill to comfort the dog. THAT is amazing.
Thanks, Gaya.