Veterinary rehabilitation and pain management requires being able to look at the “big picture” of what is going on with a pet. And while my 8 1/2 years of practice have provided a depth of clinical experience in many facets of my field, I did attend a number of certification courses to expand my knowledge base.
My rehabilitation certification came by taking multiple classes over the course of 2008 at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville’s College of Veterinary Medicine. (http://utcaninerehab.com/) This was a very demanding course that provided a review of anatomy and the basic and advanced principles of rehabilitation. Part of my training required an externship and case studies of my patients. I then sat for my exam in December of 2008 and was awarded my CCRP (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner) certification.
While I was working on that program, I wanted to gain more knowledge in orthopedic surgery. I attended an extended lecture and hands-on course for fracture repair, we were actually given artificial bones to practice on. The company running the course also provides special training to human orthopedic surgeons. (https://www.aona.org/#AONA=) The program was taught by some of the top veterinary surgeons in the world.
One of the most common injuries in veterinary sports medicine is a torn cruciate ligament. Since there are many surgical techniques to repair this, I attended the Slocum TPLO certification course in November 2008. (http://www.slocumenterprises.com/) The TPLO procedure was designed by this company and again we learned the technique on artificial bones.
Keeping up with new techniques for non-surgical management of pain management led me to certification in Stem Cell Therapy. I completed this course online via VetStem (http://vetstem.com/). I have since performed many stem cell procedures for both orthopedic and neurological conditions. Stem Cell Therapy uses the pet’s own fat cells as a source of stem cells for treatment of chronic conditions such as arthritis.
Another area of rehabilitation is mobility. Some of my patients need permanent assistance in getting around, and that is why I attended a class on cart measuring and usage through Eddie’s Wheels. (http://eddieswheels.com/) This fantastic group can custom make carts for animal from ferrets to alpacas with orthopedic or neurological problems.
My most recent endeavor is achieving certification in pain management. I had to apply to sit for the exam by showing a background in this field. It also requires ongoing continuing education to maintain my certification. I am sitting for the exam in early September. More information on the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management can be found here at (http://www.ivapm.org/).
The field of rehabilitation and pain management is constantly growing and I will continue to advance my knowledge in the best interests of my patients.
Should you have any questions for me, please comment below.