There are a lucky few of you that have already met someone with these initials behind their name. Let me tell you what they mean! CCRT stands for Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist. These initials are awarded to veterinarians and physical therapist after they sit for 120 hours of continuing education followed by a 40 hour internship to put all the education into practice.

The people that go through this program are kind, dedicated and truly amazing individuals that come from all walks of life and all over the world – Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, West Indies and of course, right here in the United States!

These individuals travel long distances, for weeks at a time, leaving their families (sometimes bringing them along) and their jobs to further their education and add a whole new aspect to their practice so they can help animals regain function from surgeries sooner, maintain quality of life as they age, and assist tremendously with pain management. They learn new techniques to do more thorough physical exams and diagnose more subtle problems than even x-rays can diagnose.

These individuals may have already become specialists in surgery, medicine, critical care and neurology – but most of them are general practitioners that want to change their overall approach to patients in general, by adding rehabilitation to their practice. Some are approaching retirement, some are new graduates, but most just realize the value of this education to help them improve their diagnostic skills and remind them of why they became veterinarians in the first place – their LOVE of animals and their desire to make them better!

I cannot continue on without addressing the physical therapists. These individuals have decided to take their love of animals to an entirely new level – some of them are adding to their current human practices and some are taking a huge leap away from human medicine to apply their knowledge and skills to veterinary patients.

This weekend, I left my family and my brand new practice to fly out to Colorado to teach rehabilitation to 29 of these amazing people. It is hard for me to leave home, my family and my new business – but these veterinarians and physical therapists make it worth it. Knowing that there are people who are always working to make animals more comfortable aid in bettering their quality of life…willing to invest time and money for the love of animals

Kudos to these people and remember, the next time you have the good fortune to work with a rehab practitioner, someone with CCRT behind their name – remember that you are working with someone who truly loves animals and has gone above and beyond to better themselves to take care of your pets. Remember to thank them – as your appreciation and recognition of their efforts goes a long way.