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Old 05-09-2010, 08:57 PM
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Default Animal Physical Therapy

How popular is animal/dog PT? This was brought up as a suggestion as a way to still do something with animals, yet make a living at the same time.

Any information would be really nice! I'm clueless mostly on the subject.
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:09 PM
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How awesome that you brought this up!

In the Fall I'll be starting school for PTA (for humans ), but once I graduate I'm going to get my certificate in Canine/Equine Rehabilitation, or in other words, Animal Physical Therapy There is a program I am going to that is hosted at the University of Tennessee, though I'm not happy about going there (GO GATORS), I'm totally excited about what I'll be doing!!

In this program at UT you become certified and everything. Only PT's, PTA's, Vet's and Vet Tech's are able to enroll in this program... which kinda stinks, but whatever.

I think this is the only school in the U.S. that offers it, BUT I could be wrong. It seems that there was one other school that offered it, but I can't remember... I'll have to look again

Here is the link for the program/school I'm going to for it!
Canine Rehabilitation | UT Certification Courses and Seminars

You can also search to see how many Animal PT places there are in your state. In Florida there are 8 listed on that website, but there may be more... I'm not sure. Here is that link:
HTTP://www.canineequinerehab.com/united-states.asp

There is also this "promo" video if you are interested!!
YouTube - UT_Canine_Rehab_Promo.mpg

I'm so flippin' excited about this!!! It should take me about 3 years to complete the PTA program (I've got to be enrolled at the college for 1 year before applying for the PTA program), then I'm going to go there and do the Canine Rehabilitation.

I'm going to try and pull up all the info that I've found, so if you want/need anything else I'll see if I can dig it up for you!!
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:12 PM
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There's a specialty hospital near me that does a lot of PT for dogs... they also do a lot of orthopedic surgeries so I guess they go hand-in-hand.

I don't have any personal experience, but my friend did PT for her dog who has elbow dysplasia. I think she dropped him off in the morning and they kept him all day, and did water therapy with him something like three times a day.

Sounds a little risky as a career choice, IMO. I'd imagine you'd have to have some kind of certification in the animal health field to begin with... I doubt on-the-job training will really get you very far like it does in other areas. Then you'd have to live in a city that can really support that kind of business.

But, if you're lucky enough to have someone closeby that does it, wouldn't hurt to call them and talk to them about how to get started. Good luck!

ETA: Sorry, we posted at the same time.
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:24 PM
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Nikkiluv, thanks for the post! That's neat, TN isn't far at all. There are actually 3 animal PT places in AL.

In the video you posted, I saw a few pictures with surgeries/shots/etc in it. Is that normal in PT? I always thought of PT as riding bikes, swimming, walking, etc.
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:50 PM
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Your welcome!

I've been trying to figure that out for the longest time! I would say no, that they don't operate (unless they are Vets and Vets can take that course?), but I could be wrong. I've been meaning to email them to ask a few questions about this and that was one of them, but I've been so busy with finals and finishing graduation plans (graduation is May 21st & I still don't have all the invitations out) that I haven't had the chance.

In human PT, that is definitely not the case. At least from what I've been told.

PT usually is all of what you said and then stretching and different types of exercises... depending on the injury sustained. With humans they will do a variety of different exercises.

I know when I had PT after I broke my arm for the 4th time that I had a lot of different exercises to do, all involving getting the strength back up in my arm and stuff like that.
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:16 PM
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How long will it take you to complete the Canine Rehab program after you graduate with your PTA? What are your plans after you finish this?

BTW, please ignore my cluelessness right now, but what is the difference between a PT and PTA?

Thanks for all the info!
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:33 PM
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It shouldn't take me long at all to finish the Canine Rehab, but it depends on the schedules and such that UT has for the program. Going by this years schedule it would take me a few months? Maybe a little bit longer, but I'm not sure. I guess it would depend on when the seminars are going to be held.

After I finish that, I'll probably get a job with PTA for humans somewhere here in Florida. Just because thats what my parents will be PAYING for me to do I might try and get a part time with the Canine Rehab, but I'm not sure. I guess it'll depend on whats open and whats not, as far as jobs go.

PT is basically held at Universities & is a Bachelors degree. From what I've heard they usually just do paperwork, for the most part anyways. They do some therapy, but most is just diagnosing and stuff like that. They usually work a lot more too, most times on weekends and overtime a lot.... from what I've read.

PTA's are more hands-on. They are the ones who actually DO the therapy on the patients. PTA programs are usually held at community colleges and only take 2 years to complete the program, then you pass the state board and your ready to go get a job. They don't work nearly as much as PT's and some only work part time, I think that really depends on your place of employment though. The pay is also a lot less than PT Thats okay with me though!

No problem!
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:34 PM
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Nikki basically said everything I was gonna say.

I am getting my doctorate in PT right now & then am planning on getting the certificate as well (prob not right after I graduate though...maybe 5 yrs or so down the road).

A PTA is basically exactly what it sounds like...an assistant to the Physical therapist. They mainly help the patients through the therapeutic exercise program that the PT has designed. Depending on the state, they are allowed to do some hands-on stuff with the pts too...I'm sure Nikki can provide more info on that though.

And Nikki, while we are grilling you...how does that work with the certificate, do you know? like, if you & I both get one, are we allowed to do the exact same things? Or do you have to work under someone else?
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:18 PM
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I think if you are in the right area then it is very popular. I think you need to be somewhere near a university or specialty center though to get enough clients and make a living. Somewhere near where they do orthopedic would be great! I have to take Riley to one when he gets his brace off his leg. I have thought about someday getting into the field myself, but i dont know.
I didnt watch the video posted earlier, but you will not be doing surgery unless you are a doctor. It is actually illegal to do surgery if your not a doctor.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:18 AM
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Can a PT do the hands on things the PTA usually does? What's the point in getting your PT if only to do paperwork? lol Or do most poeople get there PT then PTA?

Dreeza, how will getting a doctorate in PT be different than a bachelors degree?

Nikkiluv, if you don't plan on doing much Canine Rehab what is the point of getting that certificate? I'm just curious, trying to figure out how all this works!

Thanks for all the info! Very helpful and interesting!
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