Canine Sport Medicine course: conditioning and rehabilitation of the canine athlete

Today is a good day: I just found out the I passed the exam for the canine sport medecin course with a 99% Mark, hurray!

As some of you already know I went to Zurich at Bessy’s Kleintierklinik last month for a 3 day intensive course about Canine Sport Medicine taught by Chris Zink.

This was an amazing opportunity for me as the course, developed by the Canine Rehabilitation Institute (USA), is mainly held in the USA and is only opened to veterinarians, veterinary technicians and physical therapists. It was definitely a steep learning curve!

The group included 83% of veterinarian surgeons with 4 orthopaedic specialists and some veterinarian specialised in animal rehabilitation, most of the last 15% were physical therapists who specialised in animal therapy. It was a truly European course with people from Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, England and Scotland.

The course, aimed to provide us with a fundamental understanding of anatomical structure and locomotion and how they relate to performance and potential injuries was quite intensive. We covered in depth the main sport injuries of the canine athletes in all disciplines, including their causes, the main diagnostic procedures, their prevention via conditioning program and post injury targeted rehabilitation. The course also included the safe introduction to canine sport for young dogs.

The role that psychology can play in the rehabilitation was also discussed as well as the nutrition and supplements.

We had some very interesting discussion on the subject of diagnostic and rehabilitation with the participation of all the experts in the room describing their own approach during the practical sessions.

Chris Zink was definitely a brilliant instructor, extremely knowledgeable with a thorough science based approach that I really appreciated and she is very entertaining too!

Finally it was a very good opportunity for me to network with some like-minded professional with whom I am hoping to keep contact and maybe meet again in the future.

I would like to finish by thanking Chris for the course and Rico Vannini, Owner of Bessy’s Kleintierklinik for the organisation and welcoming us all to his clinic.

There is always so much to learn in canine massage therapy

As a member of the Canine Massage Guild I am required to follow a certain number of days of continuous development program. This is an easy commitment for me as I love learning and I believe that however good or skilled someone is in a subjet, there is always more to learn and share with others. Someone lately described me as a “sponge” (!)…I still wonder if this was actually a compliment or not!

So two weeks ago I was back “down South” to Worcester for my second week of CPD for this year were I followed 4 days of advanced massage techniques and I loved the whole of it!

The two first days was all about release techniques for the ventral aspect of the dogs. To clarify, the ventral aspect means the area of the throat, pectoral, abdominal and ventral side of the hind legs of the dogs. These areas can easily be overlooked and some can be difficult to access, but when massaged with the right techniques by a knowledgeable person, it can bring tremendous relief to some dogs. The course was instructed by Natalie Lenton from the canine massage therapy centre who again blew me away, she can definitely make anatomy and massage come to life!

Mehwi acting as super model for Natalie

The second Course was two days of Canine Touch, with Emma Overend as instructor, from PawDimensions. The Canine Touch technique is a gentle bodywork designed to address the dog’s soft tissue with series of small moves set into specific procedures. There are so many way these moves can be incorporated into a massage therapy session.

Mehwi acting as super model for Emma

And I am not the only one who benefited from the week: Manouk and Mehwi were with me, acting as practice dogs and they loved it too! Look at them waiting eagerly for their turn! In fact, and I suspect you have already noticed with my two first photos, Mehwi ended up becoming the superstar model for both Natalie and Emma. This was a fabulous opportunity for him as he was just 3 week post operation for his elbow.

These techniques are of huge benefits for any dogs I will be treating in the future, in fact I started applying some as soon as I came back from my trip. I already wonder how I managed to live without them before!

These four days are just a small subset of my development program, I am currently studying to become an animal physiotherapist, I followed a 3 days classes on canine sport medicine in Zurich earlier this year and there are more to come before the next year, but this will be some another blog posts!

Just a few more photos for you to enjoy, I know I am no way as good as Iain to take photos, sorry!