Pet Rehabilitation Business Gains Strength: California Animal Rehabilitation Facility Sees Excess of 350 Pet Patients In First Year

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Two Los Angeles area doctors -- a veterinarian and a doctor of physical therapy -- are showing pet owners and veterinarians that pet rehabilitation is a viable option in pet healthcare. California Animal Rehabilitation, the country's first facility run by this type of team, has evaluated more than 350 pets from the greater Los Angeles area, central and northern California, and as far away as India, for multiple issues related to general lameness, post-surgical support, non-surgical options, neurological concerns, obesity and age. Using similar techniques of human physical therapy, pet owners are seeing dramatic results - from increased function, less pain, and in many cases, total resolution of their pet's problem, making pet rehabilitation a burgeoning business model supporting local veterinarians and veterinary surgeons.

California Animal Rehabilitation's Physical Therapist Dr. Amy Kramer stretches patient, Dino. This is one of several take-home exercises taught to pet owners as part of overall rehabilitation programs, which can have tremendous impact on a pet's improvement.

We have had a quadriplegic dog stand up and walk again, stiff aging dogs that look like they're literally on their last leg start running around again. Our clients tell us all the time that their pet seems years younger after we finish their program.

Two Los Angeles area doctors are showing pet owners and veterinarians that rehabilitation gets their pet's paws moving better. Since opening in June 2007, California Animal Rehabilitation, Southern California's first physical rehabilitation center for pets as rehabilitation and the only facility of its kind in the U.S. owned and operated by both a veterinarian and a doctor of physical therapy, is fast becoming a welcome option in pet healthcare.

In its first year the facility has evaluated more than 350 pets from the greater Los Angeles area, central and northern California, and as far away as India. On average, the team treats 25 patients per day, for multiple issues related to general lameness, post-surgical support, non-surgical options, neurological concerns, obesity and age. Using similar techniques of human physical therapy, pet owners are seeing dramatic results - from increased function, less pain, and in many cases, total resolution of their pet's problem, making pet rehabilitation a burgeoning business model supporting local veterinarians and veterinary surgeons.

"Our business is designed as a specialty extension of a general veterinarian or surgeon's services," said California Animal Rehabilitation Co-Founder and Veterinarian, Dr. Jessica Waldman, VMD. "We work as a team with local vets to get results and in most cases are seeing vast improvements."

According to Dr. Janet Van Dyke, chief executive officer and founder of West Palm Beach, Florida-based Canine Rehabilitation Institute, the leading pet rehabilitation certification center, California Animal Rehabilitation's facility offers the most desirable business model in this rapidly emerging field.

"Pairing a veterinarian with a physical therapist has the potential for tremendous outcomes in pet rehabilitation because veterinarians understand pet injuries and diseases, and physical therapists are expert in the science of rehabilitation, how a body moves, joint and soft tissue mechanics and the impact of exercise."

"Rehabilitation works with humans, why wouldn't it work with pets?" states California Animal Rehabilitation Co-Founder and Physical Therapist, Dr. Amy Kramer. "We have had a quadriplegic dog stand up and walk again, stiff aging dogs that look like they're literally on their last leg start running around again. Our clients tell us all the time that their pet seems years younger after we finish their program."

According to the founding partners, their success in this emerging field is first and foremost driven by their understanding of the overall health of each pet patient. A pet's initial evaluation tenaciously accounts past medical history and diet, as well as how a pet moves, its pain tolerance, muscle strength and flexibility, the range of motion of each joint, and muscle girth. From there, the doctors try to pinpoint a pet's core problem as well as any compensatory lameness issues. This information drives a pet's personalized therapy program that may include hydrotherapy in an underwater treadmill, core muscle building exercises, laser technology, acupuncture and hands-on therapy. Pets come to the facility for treatment on average twice a week; and pet owners are
taught and encouraged to do core exercises with their pet at home, which speeds up the healing process or for ongoing, post-therapy maintenance.

About CARE:
California Animal Rehabilitation is a full-service rehabilitation center, offering customized therapy programs for pets. Owned and operated by two doctors -- Phoenix native and veterinarian Dr. Jessica Waldman, and Boise, Idaho native and physical therapist, Dr. Amy Kramer -- pets are treated with state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to help them live more functional and comfortable lives. For more information go to http://www.CalAnimalRehab.com or call 310-998-CARE (2273).

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