Rehabilitation veterinarians form association

Published on February 15, 2008
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Underwater treadmill
A 2-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer walks on an underwater treadmill during rehabilitation for a muscle strain.

The American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians has formed and will be holding its first annual meeting from Aug. 13-16 in Minneapolis.

Most of the 40 current members are in private practice, while five members work at universities. The secretary and founder, Dr. Julia Tomlinson, owns Twin Cities Animal Rehabilitation Clinic in Burnsville, Minn.

Dr. Tomlinson said the rehabilitation of animals is a growing business, involving veterinarians and nonveterinarians. In addition to clinics that provide specialty surgery and rehabilitation, an increasing number of clinics focus solely on rehabilitation. Providing rehabilitation as part of mainstream practice permits veterinarians to take a central role in case management.

The goals of the AARV are to help advance rehabilitation in veterinary medicine, increase public awareness of veterinary rehabilitation, and allow rehabilitation veterinarians to meet and discuss aspects of continuing education. Dr. Tomlinson said recent scientific articles have reported the advantage of rehabilitation in recovery from orthopedic surgery and in management of chronic arthritis. New guidelines from the American Animal Hospital Association recognize the role of rehabilitation in pain management protocols.

Dr. Sherman O. Canapp Jr. is serving as the current AARV president. The board members are Drs. Becky Paulekas, Julia Tomlinson, Sally Lane, and Rick Wall. Members will vote on officers at the first annual meeting. Members also will discuss an upcoming multicenter study on the effects of rehabilitation and creation of a Web site with information for the public.

More details about the AARV are available by e-mailing Dr. Tomlinson at drjuliaattcrehab [dot] com.