Dr. Ross completed her training as a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist (CCRT) with Canine Rehabilitation Institute in early 2019. Her interest in sled dog medicine as well as the large number of both active and aging dogs in her current caseload motivated her to pursue additional training to provide better support and care for a large percentage of patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is rehabilitation therapy?

Canine rehabilitation is a branch of veterinary medicine that focuses on a dog’s ability to perform the functions of daily living, whether that dog is a highly trained athlete (e.g. racing sled dog, agility or field trial competitor), working animal (e.g. police dog, guide dog, herding dog, hunting dog) or an all around active every day companion animal.  A canine rehabilitation therapist evaluates muscle and joint function in the individual animal, and then develops a program of treatment and exercise to build strength, endurance, flexibility and balance.

2. What type of dogs benefit from a rehab program?

All dogs can benefit from an evaluation from a canine rehabilitation therapist and a program designed to meet their specific needs. However, the most common reasons an owner might seek a rehab evaluation are:

  • Lameness
  • Decreased performance
  • Post surgery (e.g. after CCL/ACL surgery)
  • Decreased mobility in the aging pet
  • Arthritis

3. How long does an evaluation take and what does it entail?

An evaluation can take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the severity of the problem, functional limitations, and goals of the owner. A rehabilitation examination includes  probing for areas of pain, tightness or tenderness; assessing muscle mass, strength and flexibility; and evaluating joint range of motion.

4. What type of treatments are utilized?

A treatment plan will be developed to meet the needs of both the animal and its owner, and will typically take about 30 minutes. Pain management is primary, and this may include an oral pain medication as well as modalities such as laser or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS).  Manual therapies such as massage, stretching and joint mobilizations may be employed. The patient will participate in a variety of therapeutic exercises. In addition, a home exercise plan is developed in order to continue therapy in the home environment, between visits.

5. How do I schedule an evaluation or therapy session?

If you are a current client, please call the office at 907-822-4321 or use the contact us form to let us know you’re interested in scheduling an appointment. If your pet recently had orthopedic surgery in town and you would like to discuss your options for optimizing return to function, please have your pet’s records emailed to office@coppervalleyvet.com. Once Dr. Kimi has reviewed the surgical report, she will contact you to set up an initial evaluation and develop a therapeutic plan.

6. I’ve already had an appointment. Where do I log in for the Home Exercise Plan (HEP)?

If you’ve received a HEP for your pet and are looking for instructional videos and tracking information, login in here.