I have grown up with animals pretty much all of my life. When I was in Grade 9 I got into the horse addiction phase of my life – which I hear has no reputable rehabs I would sit and watch these animals move under the strenuous weight of a rider and began thinking: “Surely they feel the same way we do after a long working session and have aches and pains from the exhausting workload we sometimes expect of them?”. I was fired up. This is what I want to do. I searched high and low only finding correspondence programmes and nowhere was there an institute that offered physiotherapy for animals. Legitimate, research and evidence-based veterinary physiotherapy. Then I found Equine-Librium which is based in Plettenberg Bay. The course is covered over four years and because they are the pioneers in the field, Veterinary Physiotherapy has since been promulgated as a profession. It is a tough, hard four years but extremely rewarding.
When I first had the idea to start up something like BettaPet, Port Elizabeth just called out to me. Perhaps being born here had something to do with it but I knew that there was a gap in the market.
Many of my new clients had no idea this profession existed. I am finding that the more owner’s are becoming aware and educated with regards to veterinary therapy the more the profession and demand grows. I love seeing owner’s faces after seeing their dog or cat do something they haven’t been able to do in ages! It’s like you have given them the best gift. It’s even more baffling to owners when they say: “But my pet just did that and they’re not on any medication for pain or inflammation.” And that’s it there – our goal is to be able to get your pet pain free while improving their mobility and strength without medication, or getting to a point where the medication is no longer needed. We are the long-term solution.
Prevention is better than cure. As soon as owners are noticing mobility problems or a regress in activity levels or change in behavior, have your veterinary therapist see your pet. The longer the wait the worse it may become. Owners often think if my dog is sore let them rest – which is correct – but have a professional look at your pet. The more you rest them, the less mobile they become, and then muscle wastage occurs which is exactly what needs to be avoided. The less muscle you have the more your joint needs to work. You can see the cycle. Degenerative joint disease is a part of life sadly, but we are here to help you manage that and slow the process down through various changes – whether it be supplement additions, appropriate exercises, manual- or electro-therapies or home changes that may need to be made. We are here to help your best friend stay as young as they think they are!