Our project started two years ago in a busy 24-hour veterinary hospital where Silvia and I met. We worked together, sharing our passion for physical animal rehabilitation. Every day we took care of a lot of patients suffering from pain and lack of mobility because of orthopaedic and neurological issues. Through this work we reinforced our belief in the benefit of integrative therapy like physiotherapy and acupuncture to achieve physical rehabilitation. A while later we both decided to reduce our time working in the conventional veterinary field and spent more time specializing in complementary animal medicine. With my background as a Veterinary Surgeon and Vet Acupuncturist, I started to build my knowledge in animal rehabilitation, getting a Level 3 Animal Hydrotherapy Certification first and then attending university again studying an MSc in Veterinary Physiotherapy. Meanwhile Silvia, as a Registered Vet Nurse, focused her career on neurology and orthopaedic cases, working closely with advanced diagnostic imaging which gave her the ability to increase her skills in rehabilitation nursing care and discovered her passion for physiotherapy. She gained her Diploma in Animal Physiotherapy and a Level 3 Certificate in Hydrotherapy propelling her to start her own consultancy business.
We are passionate about helping dogs and cats with mobility issues. We work hard to give them a better quality of life, free from pain and with the possibility of moving once more with freedom. This is the passion that has now brought us back together once more, but this time with new skills and much more expertise. We are now in a place to share our passion and knowledge in working together to open our new company in our hometown of London. And so, London Vet Rehab Ltd is born. Animals, just like humans, can develop functional limitations and mobility issues. Because of this they may therefore benefit from a skillfully developed rehabilitation program, which is why the veterinary community is slowly starting to recognising the benefit of physical therapy for animals. However, the real application and referring for it is still poor. We therefore need to spread knowledge to people about how to help their animals have a better quality of life using a wide range of techniques rather than just medication.
This is something we want to achieve in opening our centre. In fact, one of our project goals is to arrange events and informative lectures for pet owners on how to educate and spread the knowledge about integrative medicine, and how it can help animals to be free from pain and be actively mobile once again. When severe disability occurs, we want to share how we can improve their quality of life. We firmly believe that if an animal is struggling to move, that struggle also transfers to the owner because there is little, or no alternative help offered by most conventional vets presently. The owner is part of the multi-disciplinary team working on the rehabilitation program and this is the reason why we think communication and education is so important. Although physical rehabilitation is an exciting and challenging field in which animal lovers can find their way into a new career, we also believe it is fundamental for us to educate people on how to choose the right therapist. The right therapist with the right skills at the right moment can be instrumental in improving the quality of life of a patient. But conversely, the wrong therapist with poor skills at the wrong stage of the physical issue of the animal will most definitely compromise the recovery or healing process of the dog or cat.
Finding the right skillful therapist is becoming a challenge because of lack of regulations at this stage of the rapidly growing field of rehabilitation. We already provide home physical rehabilitation programs for animals, offering integrative medicine like physiotherapy, acupuncture and electro-therapy, but what we need to add to our list of therapeutic modalities is a state-of-the-art rehabilitation service, in the form of hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy provides amazing benefits to animals for both preventative and therapeutic purposes in both post-surgery recovery or degenerative and chronic orthopaedic or neurological conditions. It is hugely important in helping the animal regain back and muscle strength, and flexibility in joints. Establishing this hydrotherapy equipment in our centre is the main goal of this project, allowing us to be able to offer a high level of hydrotherapy service to our patients as well as our other services. We decided to open our rehabilitation centre in London, the city where we live, because according to recent statistics, there are about 200,000 dogs in the city of London, which that means a large community of animals in this area could might benefit from physiotherapy and complementary treatments for both prevention and therapy. Our thorough research suggests that there is a great lack of rehabilitation centres in London, making our case even stronger for choosing this area to provide veterinary integrative medicine. Another big part of the project is to be able to help owners with financial difficulties. As we currently collaborate with charities offering our services for free or discounted, we would like to increase this volunteering, offering more space and time in our rehabilitation centre.