Acupuncture Certification Official

As many of you may know, last year I attended the Chi Institute in Florida ( to study veterinary acupuncture. It was an eye opening and intense training that now allows me to offer complimentary services to my patients.

In December, I took the final exam and passed both the written and practical parts. I then had to complete an externship and submit a case report to complete my certification. Those steps were recently approved and I am now a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA).

Acupuncture can be used in many conditions both acute and chronic. Many patients that have orthopedic or neurologic diseases will benefit from acupuncture. Pets with other ailments such as kidney disease, inflammatory bowel problems and chronic skin and ear infections can also improve with acupuncture.

Studies show that 85% of patients will benefit from acupuncture. Often 3 treatments are needed to see if a patient is responding. The most common undesired effect from acupuncture is that a patient does not respond.

If you are interested in learning more about acupuncture for your pet, please contact me at


Professional News: Pain Management Certification

I am proud to announce that I have been awarded the title of Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP) from the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management ( This completes 2 years of work in the form of skill verification for a multi-modal approach to pain management, a written examination covering the fundamentals of the different aspects of pain management, 90 hours of pain management specific continuing education courses and acceptance of my two pain management case reports.


If you have questions about pain and your pet from arthritis to cancer and all points in between please contact me at


I apologize for not having posted in a while. I have been making some changes in my professional life that have kept me from writing regularly.


Starting this Memorial Day Weekend, the Northway Animal Emergency Clinic will become the Capital Region’s first 24/7/365 veterinary emergency and critical care facility. With this change, they have asked me to join their staff on a full time basis. I will be working a combination of overnight and day shifts there. On Fridays, I will apply my training in rehabilitation and pain management with the surgical skills of Dr. Courtney Fitzpatrick of Veterinary Specialties Referral Center for consultations and advanced surgery.


I have also begun to work with Zoetis as one of their Elite Speakers. This program is available for veterinary hospitals where I come in and discuss aspects of veterinary pain management, anesthesia and sedation techniques. This includes the time around a surgery, the preparation for it as well as the follow up care and chronic osteoarthritis management. For those veterinary professionals who are interested in learning more about this service please contact me at or your local Zoetis Territory Business Manager.


I am hoping to continue to provide rehabilitation and pain management consultations and services within the Greene County, NY area and will keep you updated on those developments.

I get by with a little help from my friends

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank my dear friend Jason Blasso for his guidance and help this year. Jay and  I go way back, and this year he once again provided great support and guidance for me. It was Jason who suggested I start this blog, and he also takes the time to be my editor. I cannot thank him enough for all of his help.

Jason is a fantastic writer, poet, artist and publisher. If you get a chance, please check out some of his work.

Thank you, Jay.

The Winds of Change

I am very happy to announce that I am relocating. Starting September 13, I will be practicing at New Baltimore Animal Hospital. ( While I greatly enjoyed my time working in NYC and Long Island  this year, I was drawn back to upstate NY for many reasons. My interests in orthopedics and sports medicine requires a caseload found among outdoor and active dogs.
This move will also allow me to enjoy and pursue my personal interests in triathlons and the necessary training for those.
I look forward to meeting a new group of clients and patients at my new practice and continuing to see you all here on the web.
-Matt Brunke, DVM, CCRP

My Areas of Interest

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. ( 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. ( 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. ( 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 ( 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. ( 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 (

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.

An Introduction

Greetings All-

Thank you for finding your way to my blog.

I am a veterinarian, originally from Bellerose, NY. From a very young age I knew I wanted to work with animals. I was lucky enough to gain great experience during high school with a veterinary hospital in my neighborhood. From there, I studied Animal Science at Cornell University. During my time there I was able to work in the College of Veterinary Medicine. I also gained great experience working with horses at a friend’s farm. After graduating from Cornell, I attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine on the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean. I then did a clinical year at Purdue University.

After graduation, I took a job at a mixed animal practice in Columbia County, NY. There I predominately worked on small animals (dogs, cats), but also gained great experience with horses, sheep and other animals. This combination of species allowed me to gain a better understanding of sports injuries and lameness problems in both horses, as well as dogs. I practiced there for 3 1/2 years, and then moved to Albany, NY. There I received advanced training in orthopedic surgery, as well as being certified in veterinary rehabilitation.  I continued to do general practice work, and helped the hospital to expand it’s capabilities in emergency medicine and surgery. The majority of my time was spent working in the Rehabilitation Department. There I worked with licensed veterinary technicians who were also certified in rehab. We would work together to diagnosis and treat patients with any multitude of conditions. We worked on patients with bulging discs in their back and neck. Some of these patients were referred for surgery, and then we helped them post-op to learn how to walk again. Others had already had surgery and needed assistance. Many did not have surgery, but still needed appropriate case management in their recovery process. Many of the neurological patients were treated on an outpatient basis, but I also managed many that would stay in the hospital for months at a time, until they were able to be home. I also worked with orthopedic patients, either those that I had done surgery on, or diagnosed their conditions.

Other patients came from neighboring hospitals, either after surgery or for case management. I would also see patients as a second opinion for injuries and conditions that had not yet been diagnosed or treated. I found these cases particularly interesting, a puzzle to be solved. That is one of the many things I enjoy about veterinary medicine, my patients may not be able to tell me what their problem is, but it requires a team effort on the aprt of the owners, technicians and myself to help them. And as you will see, not all patients read the textbooks.

Recently, I have decided to relocate my practice. I am considering my options in the NYC and Long Island area. I hope to bring my experience and skills to a new set of clients and patients, and to continue learning new ways to help them.

This point of this blog is to share some of my experiences in veterinary medicine, to give insight to problems and to let people know that there are sometimes more options than you know about. Please realize that I can not diagnose or prescribe treatment for any condition over the internet. Also, always check in with your veterinarian with regards to your pet’s specific needs.

Thank you,

Matt Brunke, DVM, CCRP