5 Questions for a Canine Rehabilitation Specialist

Canine Rehabilitation specialist Alice Baker Meuten, DVM, DACVSMR, MSTCVM, answers the five questions.

Alice Baker Meuten, DVM, DACVSMR, MSTCVM

Alice Baker Meuten, DVM, DACVSMR, MSTCVM, is owner of Canine Performance Rehabilitation and Integrative Sports Medicine (Canine PRISM) in Colorado. In addition to being a boarded rehabilitation and sports medicine veterinary specialist, she has a master’s degree in traditional Chinese veterinary medicine, is certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association, is a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist, and is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist. She also competes nationally in border collie sheepdog trials.

1. What made you choose your specialty area?

I felt there was a need for specialists in canine sports medicine and rehabilitation. There felt like a huge gap between the general practice veterinarian and the orthopedic/neurologic specialist and even between veterinarians certified in rehabilitation and orthopedic/neurologic specialists. I also felt there was a need for specialists who understand and work with canine athletes/working dogs and their owners/handlers.

2. What is one thing you wish you could tell general practitioners regarding your specialty?

We are different than rehabilitation-certified veterinarians in that we had to go through a residency training program and sit for a specialty boards exam. We have the most thorough understanding of the current literature for diagnostic and treatment options for nonsurgical and postoperative orthopedic and neurologic cases. We are pushing to get more research on pain management, osteoarthritis management and prevention, integrative medicine approaches, postoperative rehabilitation, neurologic rehabilitation, biomechanics and injury prevention in the athlete and working dog, etc.

3. What is one thing that pet owners could do that would make your job more satisfying?

Follow through with at-home recommendations. Most of the time, adding just a few minutes every day to do prescribed exercises at home is going to make bigger long-term changes in your dog than doing in-clinic rehabilitation once or twice a week.

4. What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The dedication I see in my clients in keeping their dogs as fit and injury-free as possible. If I comment that their dog’s nails are too long, forever after their dog will have perfectly trimmed nails prior to our appointments. If I give them refinements on exercises they are doing at home, they figure out how to help their dog do them better.

5. What advice would you give to someone considering your specialty?

We are a growing specialty with so many potential career avenues. If you love geriatrics, athletes, working dogs, postop orthopedics, nonsurgical orthopedics, neurologic disorders, orthotics/prosthetics, nutrition, integrative medicine, etc., there is an avenue to make this specialty work for you.

Photo courtesy of Alice Baker Meuten



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