OAH Swim Team: On Location in Knoxville Tennessee

This week’s blog comes to you courtesy of Dr. Watson! Our dear LilyCat has forfeited her keyboard (and designated stenographer) so that I could share with you a little bit about what we’re doing at O’Sullivan Animal Hospital to develop our rehabilitation department on a strong foundation.

Canine and feline rehabilitation can certainly be performed by any veterinarian with an understanding of the basic principles of therapeutic exercise, however we really feel strongly about obtaining the best education for our rehab team to provide our patients with the best possible care. All of our rehabilitation team members are currently in the process of obtaining CCRP certification. What is CCRP certification you may ask? CCRP stands for Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner, and is a program offered through the University of Tennessee. It is comprised of 5 levels, including a practicum placement, case studies and a final examination. The program is only open to veterinarians, veterinary technicians, physical therapists and physical therapist assistants – so you can rest assured that if the person providing therapeutic exercise to your pet is CCRP certified that they have the training and knowledge to safely and effectively address your concerns.

As so much of this training involves physical manipulations and exercise modalities there is a mandatory laboratory component, involving 5 days of in-class lecture and hands-on laboratory training. This past week Krista Laurin (our amazing Rehab RVT) and I travelled to Knoxville Tennessee to progress with our training. While there we had the amazing opportunity to learn from leaders in the field of rehabilitation including Dr. Darryl Millis, David Levine and Dr. Marti Drum (and countless other highly skilled staff at the university of Tennessee). It was a lot of long hours in class, but we learned so many invaluable skills to help us progress with our certification and rehabilitation services we can offer our patients. Not to mention that the sun was shining and we found plenty of dogs to snuggle throughout our trip (as we were sorely missing our furry family members!).

We learned about many of the therapeutic modalities available to canine and feline rehabilitation including therapeutic laser, electrical stimulation for muscle strength and pain control, therapeutic ultrasound, shockwave therapy and joint injections including stem-cell treatments. Strong emphasis was also placed on modalities currently in use in the O’Sullivan Animal Hospital Rehabilitation Department – underwater treadmill and therapeutic exercise equipment.

We had the opportunity to tour the entire University of Tennessee Veterinary School’s teaching hospital including their large animal rehabilitation department. This team is truly dedicated to rehabilitation of all animals big and small – they even have their own HORSE SIZED underwater treadmill!

We also found plenty of time throughout the day to snuggle all of the adorable dogs who volunteered their time for us to learn techniques on. They were truly amazing, adorable AND snuggly!

When class was over for the day we found some time, with the beautiful weather, to explore the market square in Knoxville, visit the SunSphere and walk along the river! It was a whirlwind of a week, but we couldn’t be more excited to bring everything back to the OAH Rehabilitation Department and our patients!

Knoxville is such a beautiful city, and everyone was truly wonderful and welcoming. We could not have had a better trip.

See you all soon!

Dr Anne Watson DVM and Krista Laurin RVT – CCRP Candidates


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