Physical therapy clinic to treat animals in New Hampshire
A new animal physical therapist clinic is opening up in Nashua, New Hampshire, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader. This new facility provides a tremendous opportunity not only for injured animals, but also for therapists looking for a unique challenge in a new physical therapist job.
The clinic was founded by Jennifer Brooks, a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner who sought to combine her love of animals with her training in therapeutic health.
"I've been an animal lover all my life, and an equestrian all my life," Brooks told the new outlet. "And I thought, gee, why not find my clinical profession that I love, physical therapy, and focus it on animals, that are my hobby...You really have to focus on their behaviors, and have a sense of animal behaviors and actions, and learn to read the animals."
Brooks also mentioned that the trend toward animal physical therapy is relatively new in the United States when compared to the industry in Europe and Australia. New Hampshire is the sixth state to pass a law allowing physical therapists to treat animals. The ordinance, a collaborative effort between veterinarians and physical therapists including Brooks, took four years to pass through the state's governing body.
Befitting its name, the facility primarily focuses on rehabilitating injured horses, dogs and cats. According to The Hollis Brookline Journal, the clinic offers hydro-therapy, which uses an Aqua-Paws underwater treadmill similar to the devices used by professional athletes. Injured animals walk on the submerged treadmill to improve their flexibility, strength and range of motion. The facility also has two gym spaces, specialty rehabilitation equipment designed for animals, a drop-off daycare service and a variety of educational programs and exercises to help owners prevent injuries or treat their pets on their own.
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