Dear Veterinary & Para-Veterinary Professional

I have dedicated the past 25 years of my life to helping my animal patients feel better. I qualified as a Veterinarian in 1994 and ran my own small animal veterinary practice in Benoni for a number of years. There I performed all aspects of veterinary medicine including surgery.

In 2009 I started Animal Health and Hydro a small animal physical rehabilitation facility located on the East Rand, which has become not only a well-established rehabilitation facility but also a thriving business.

Now I feel that my role is to pass on the torch to the new generation of veterinarians and veterinary physiotherapists entering the industry for the first time. I am passionate about sharing with others all that I have learned about physical rehabilitation as well as business growth and management.

When I first qualified as a veterinarian despite my inexperience, I worked alone. I owe a deep sense of  gratitude to Mr xxxx , the kennel hand at the first practice where I was employed. I guess you could say that he served as my first mentor and coach, in the absence of any other.

However, when I went to work in Benoni the practice principal took me under his wing and made an effort to each me everything that he knew. In the end I went on to buy 50% of that practice and ran it as his business partner for a number of years. What I gained from this experience is that one cannot underestimate the value of working with a mentor who has a vested interest in your professional and personal development.

When I sold my practice in Rynfield and started anew in the Veterinary Physical Rehabilitation field of Veterinary medicine, once again I found myself alone. At that time, no formal path to becoming a Rehabilitation Practitioner existed within South Africa. Therefore I, like many others at that time turned to qualifications and certifications being offered abroad. I completed my CCRP (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner), CCBW (Certified Caninology Canine Bodyworker), and two qualifications in veterinary acupuncture to equip me with the training and skills I needed to assist me as I embarked on this new journey. Of great benefit to me was that fact that I was already a skilled, experienced and qualified veterinarian.

As I began to work within this field of veterinary medicine, it became clear to me that the work we do is incredible. I am pleased to say that we perform miracles every day. We need more rehabilitation practices throughout South Africa so that we have the capacity to reach all those clients and patients who need our help.

Surgeons have been using the supportive and integrative services of Physiotherapists, Biokineticists, Occupational Therapists, and Orthotists for many years to help improve the outcomes of surgeries and return the patient to function as quickly and completely as possible.

Furthermore, many clients "chose" to treat their animal companion's conservatively. Whether this decsion is

Due to the nature and duration of our consultations we also spend a lot more time with the pet-parents. We get to hear their fears, their wishes, their constraints and challenges. We find ourselves having a discuss all manner of animal health with them as their animal companions undergo treatment. While for an experienced veterinarian like myself this is an amazing opportunity, however for a young graduate it can be very daunting, especially when being asked questions outside of that individuals realm of expertise and experience.