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 25-28 September, 2018 | Singapore
extracorporeal shock wave therapy, and ice/compression units.Physiotherapy became ‘mainstream’ globally
after WWI when tens of thousands of troops returned home needing assistance in regaining functional independence. At the same time, there was a polio epidemic. Equine rehabilitation became commonplace in the 1960’s as horses transitioned from ‘beasts of burden’ to multimillion-dollar sport horses. Canine rehabilitation has been common throughout Europe and the UK since the ‘80’s and in the U.S. since the ‘90’s.
Veterinarians wishing to offer rehabilitation in their practices must pay attention to the legal issues involved. The terms physical therapy and physiotherapy are
both protected terms globally. This means that only those people who are licensed to practice human physiotherapy may use these terms. Similarly, no one can use the term veterinary to describe their practice unless they are a licensed veterinary professional.
There is a list serve for those interested in this field: This list is managed by Dr. Julie Mayer: Veterinarians are encouraged to join the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians (AARV: www.rehabvets. com), a global organization that maintains an archive
of current publications related to the field of veterinary rehabilitation. The American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, a specialty college providing board certification to qualified veterinarians was approved by the AVMA in 2010 and received full accreditation from the American Board of Veterinary Specialists earlier this year. There are currently ~240 diplomates in this college.The field of veterinary rehabilitation is being driven, in large part, by client demand. This is not unlike the growth of veterinary acupuncture in the 1980’s. One of the largest drivers is the global phenomenon of canine agility competition. Enthusiasts are spending millions of dollars annually on training, equipment, travel and competition, and they
are seeking out those veterinarians who understand their sport and offer rehabilitation services. There are many other organized canine sporting events, including puissance, dock diving, ‘joring’, pulling, ring sports,
and flyball, with many of your clients participating in more than one sport with their canine companions. It behooves you to ask about their dog’s ‘jobs’ and to be prepared to address their concerns. Sporting enthusiast make very valuable clients.Government awareness
is also driving the demand for sports medicine and rehabilitation therapists. Increasingly, government agencies are seeking out the assistance of those
who can help to keep their canine assets in the field, preventing injury, and speeding recovery from injury. Sports medicine specialists focus upon much more
than musculoskeletal injuries—recognizing commonly used drugs that might impact the scenting ability of
dogs trained to search for explosives or contraband,
understanding the impact of heat and dehydration on search and rescue dogs, helping handlers to choose optimal nutritional plans for working dogs in extreme weather conditions—and the list goes on.There are
many models for sports medicine and rehabilitation practice today, everything from veterinarians opening rehabilitation services in conjunction with boarding
and ‘spa’ facilities to large multispecialty practices
adding these services to augment their existing surgery, neurology, and internal medicine practices. University veterinary schools are increasingly aware of the need
for both clinical services and didactic training in this
field. Many rehabilitation therapists are opting to run stand-alone rehabilitation practices while others offer mobile services, offering rehabilitation therapy to multiple practices in their region. Canine sporting events need rehabilitation trained veterinarians on site to care for the athletes. Emergency and critical care practices partner well with sports medicine and rehabilitation practices, allowing for 24-hour care.
• American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians
• American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation •
• American College of Veterinary Surgeons
• Veterinary Orthopedic Society
• Canine Rehabilitation Institute

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