November 2017 Spotlight Practice
California Animal Rehabilitation (CARE)
Los Angeles, California
Jessica Waldman, VMD, CVA, CCRT
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Dr. Waldman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania for both undergraduate school and for veterinary school. She completed a rotating internship at California Animal Hospital and also practiced general medicine. She is a founding member of the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians, and she lectures on the topic of Animal Physical Rehabilitation. Dr. Waldman advocates for keeping animal rehabilitation under direct supervision of veterinarians in the state of California. This regulation passed in 2017.
CARE employs forty caring staff members, including five full-time veterinarians certified in canine rehabilitation and certified in veterinary acupuncture, in addition to four physical therapists.
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Services include: pet rehabilitation, weight loss, preventative fitness, traditional chinese medicine therapies including acupuncture and herbal therapy, homeopathy, nutritional consultations, manual therapies, brace consultations, therapeutic exercises, hydro-therapies, cart fittings, day and overnight care, grooming, wound care, and use of modalities such as laser, magnet therapies, ultrasound, and electronical stimulation. The Pulsed Signal Therapy unit is a special tool that creates chondrogenesis and osteogenesis with applications for arthritis, fractures, and, tendinopathies.
The facility is located in West Los Angeles and features 8,000 square feet including a large gym, underwater treadmill, and lap pool. CARE is also a boarding facility with overnight staffing. Often, fifty pets per day are treated. The staff enjoys training visiting veterinarians, technicians and physical therapists for their "internships" for both canine rehabilitation and veterinary acupuncture to help achieve certifications.
CARE prioritizes education as the key to good outcomes and believes that every pet owner can improve their own pet with proper training via detailed home exercise instruction and programming. Dr. Waldman created Flexible Pet, a soon-to-be-on-the-market video-based internet home exercise program for clinics reinforcing client education.
CARE believes that individual pets should not be treated using protocols, but instead by SOAP methods to create individualized plans. Water therapies are utilized as rehabilitation tools, not as tenets of treatment; in fact, most CARE rehabilitation patients do not use water therapies.
Dr. Waldman believes that a new topic — "physical prevention" — should exist in which the veterinary industry educates the public regarding injury prevention and health maximization. This is accomplished by choosing appropriate exercise and manual therapies both in the clinical and the home settings. Individual programs would consider breed, age, ailments, activity and involve endurance, stabilizing, and strengthening exercises as well as manual work. This belief sparked CARE Fit, a program designed for healthy pets.
CARE also supports the not-for-profit CARE-Free, which provides rehabilitation for homeless pets in order to help them find a forever home. Many of these pets stay at the clinic for long-term boarding. CARE is pleased to partner with Annenberg Pet Space, which focuses on placing homeless pets while promoting community and education.