At Pawsitively Fit, our therapist, Shauna Slobodian, is a registered physiotherapist with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario. This background, combined with extensive training in canine rehab puts her in a unique position to provide rehabilitative care to canines.
Shauna is also a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and its’ Animal Rehab Division. Through the Animal Rehab Division, Shauna has achieved a Diploma in Canine Rehabilitation. The Canadian animal rehabilitation program limits its enrollment to physiotherapists, and focuses entirely on teaching this single group of professionals animal principles (mostly canine and equine) such as anatomy, biomechanics, pathology, clinical conditions, common veterinary surgical and clinical interventions, and handling skills, as well as physiotherapy assessment and treatment techniques for these species. The Dipl-CR program encompasses a minimum of 200 hours of canine specific continuing education. The diploma requires completion of course work, veterinary observation, safety and animal husbandry skills, case study and written examination. This is comparable to other international certification programs in animal rehabilitation and physiotherapy.
The Animal Rehab Division strongly advocates that rehabilitation of animals be provided by properly trained physical therapists upon veterinary referral if an animal is lame, injured, or requires post-surgical services. Physiotherapy in the human health care field is often complimentary to other health care services, and the Animal Rehab Division believes that it is with this same professional approach and conduct that animal rehabilitation should be delivered. Shauna holds liability insurance specific to the treatment of animal patients through BMS Canada Risk Services Ltd. , and the Division encourages direct communication between the referring veterinarian and the physiotherapist providing animal rehabilitation services to their patients in order to ensure that both professional health care providers are aware of the clinical conditions, advisements, treatments, and/or prescriptions provided by the other. At the present time, the practice of animal rehabilitation is not regulated by any Canadian provincial physiotherapy regulating group.
As advances in veterinary medicine take place and as more refined diagnostic tools and techniques become available to animal patients and more sophisticated surgical techniques are developed, greater emotional and financial investments are generally placed on animal ‘family members’ in our society. Therefore, expectations of longer animal life-spans and increased quality of life are being demanded by the public. The addition of non-traditional and alternative therapies to the more traditional veterinary medicine practices for the treatment of animal patients appears to be an important step towards improving the overall quality of life and life-span of these animals. Physical therapists trained in animal rehabilitation can provide a wealth and diversity of knowledge and skills to complement the services provided by veterinarians. Physical therapists have a strong background in professional conduct which encourages teamwork, as well as in the application of safe practices, science-based knowledge, and efficacious treatments and techniques.
Pawsitively Fit Canine Rehabilitation & Wellness is a mobile service, covering Kingston and area. We treat dogs in their own homes with the owner present. While a vet referral is not necessary, it is preferred as it allows us to access your pet’s medical records. The College of Veterinarians of Ontario has recently updated their position on the use of non-vet practitioners. Access to alternative care/rehab therapies is expected by the public and is not limited to being provided by a veterinarian. We also believe it is of great importance to establish a relationship to allow for communication between client-owner-therapist to provide the best care for dogs. This is also aided by a referral.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to our team.