Written by Dr. Jessica Dreyfuss
In today’s world, it can be quite overwhelming to navigate the various paths to certification in small animal rehabilitation. In this article, we will focus on the top rehab institutions (in the USA and abroad) that offer RACE-approved courses. Each institution has different requirements regarding previous academic credentials, such as doctor of veterinary medicine versus certified veterinary technician vs licensed medical professional. We therefore encourage you to fully research each course with the informational links provided.
In addition, it is highly recommended that anyone attaining certification in animal rehabilitation pursue regular and frequent continuing education courses in various disciplines such as pet acupuncture and pet chiropractic medicine, among others. A knowledge of these disciplines will aid the rehabilitation therapist when it comes to treatment options. Education is a life-long journey for every pet rehabilitation specialist. We wish you luck on yours!
Canine Rehabilitation Institute (CRI)
|Canine Rehabilitation Therapist Certification (CCRT) – Veterinarians, Physical Therapists
Canine Rehabilitation Veterinary Nurse Certification (CCRVN) – Veterinary Technicians/Nurses
Healing Oasis Wellness Center
(866) 203 – 7584
|Veterinary Massage & Rehabilitation Therapy Program (VMRT) – Veterinarians, certified Veterinary Technicians, License Physical Therapists/Nurses/Massage Therapists
MN Board of Chiropractic Examiners
University of Tennessee Certificate Program in Canine Physical Rehabilitation
|Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP) – Veterinarians, Physiotherapists, Veterinary Nurses/ Technicians
Integrative Veterinary Medical Institute
|Certified Canine Rehabilitation Veterinarian (CCRV) – licensed veterinarians and veterinary school students
|AAVSB RACE-approved or pending approval
Canine Rehabilitation Institute (CRI) – REHABILITATION (CCRT / CCRVN)
CRI offers a rehabilitation certificate for veterinarians (CCRT), physical therapists (CCRT), and veterinary technicians/nurses (CCRVN). Course material focuses on canine anatomy and physiology, conditions and injuries commonly referred for rehabilitation, physical therapy assessment techniques, manual therapy, physical modalities and therapeutic exercise, neurological rehabilitation, and more. Three course modules, exam(s), and a 40-hour internship at a CRI-approved practice are required for each program. Preparation time is required for on-site classes. Each class is restricted to a maximum of 28 students in order to provide direct supervision and intensive one-on-one training.
In addition, graduates of the course may return and attend any core module for just the nominal fee for the new notes and notebook. Graduates receive CE credit for taking the refresher course.
Other courses offered include “Introduction to Veterinary Clinical Research,” “Therapeutic Handling for Canine Rehabilitation,” “The Business of Canine Rehabilitation,” “Kinesiotaping for Clinical Orthopedic Rehabilitation”, and more.
You can learn more about the CRI here.
The Healing Oasis – Veterinary Massage & Rehabilitation Therapy Program (VMRT)
Located in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, The Healing Oasis offers certification for veterinarians, veterinary technicians and other adjunct licensed health care professionals in the field of veterinary rehabilitation and massage therapy. This course includes four modules comprising four days each; cases must be presented to complete the certification.
Overall curriculum includes but is not limited to anatomy, functional neurology, physiology of inflammation, massage and rehabilitation training, traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine basics, nutrition, myology, biomechanics, ethics and legalities, Tui Na, integrative veterinary therapy modalities, animal handling and case management. Student-to-faculty ratio is restricted to 3-4:1.
Other courses include Veterinary Spinal Manipulative Therapy and Advanced Neurology in Veterinary Spinal Manipulation.
An in-depth description of this course and The Healing Oasis can be found here.
University of Tennesee Certificate Program in Canine Physical Rehabilitation – Rehabilitation (CCRP)
This global, university-based certification consists of five steps, including but not limited to courses, a 40-hour internship, five-case documentation, presentation and exams (oral and written). Course content includes but is not limited to osteology, myology, neuroanatomy, common neurologic/orthopedic conditions, canine behavior, canine examination, electrotherapeutic modalities, therapeutic exercise prescription, aquatic therapy, and more. Emphasis is placed on evidence-based proof of physical therapy.
Other courses include Companion Animal Pain Management, Canine Massage, Nutrition Case Management, and more.
This certification is held across the globe – click here for overview of locations.
Integrative veterinary medical institute – Rehabilitation (ccrv)
Exclusively for veterinarians only, the CCRV program includes four sessions (two online and two on site in Reddick, FL). Online quizzes, practical and written exams, case studies, and a 30-hour internship are required to graduate. Curriculum includes neurological/orthopedic examination, gait and posture analysis, rehabilitative agents and modalities, manual therapy techniques, development of rehabilitation program, and more.
Other courses include Veterinary Medical Manipulation Practitioner Certification (CVMMP).
You can learn more about IVMI here.
Dr Jessie Dreyfus has turned her childhood passion for animals into her career, devoting herself to holistic veterinary medicine, teaching and training other professionals in the industry, and changing the lives of her patients through integrative veterinary practice. You can learn more about Dr Jessie here on her website.