Restoring our patients' quality of life rehab vets

The American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians (AARV)
is a national association of veterinarians and veterinary technicians
dedicated to improving the quality of life in animals through
physical medicine and rehabilitation.


AARV Board Election

The AARV Board of Directors is holding a special election to fill the board position of Industrial Liaison, which is currently held by President-Elect Dr. Carolina Medina.

Industrial Liaison
The two nominees for Industrial Liaison (listed in alphabetical order) are:

  • Dr. Leilani Alvarez
  • Dr. Tara Edwards

Read the candidates' letters of intent and biographies.

A ballot is being sent by email to AARV veterinarian members. Voting will be open May 5 through May 31, 2015.

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AARV Hosts Lecture Track at 6th Annual STAAR Conference

Thanks to our sponsors (Partners in Veterinary Therapeutics, Companion Therapy Laser, Aratana and Chi Institute), AARV hosted a lecture track at the 6th Annual Symposium on Therapeutic Advances in Animal Rehabilitation (STAAR), held April 24-26, 2015, in Florham Park, New Jersey. Pre-symposium labs were held April 22-23, and a new one-day Equine Track was offered on April 23.

The AARV lecture track, entitled "The Multimodal Approach to Today's Rehab Patient," was offered on Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26. Speakers included AARV board members Drs. Carolina Medina and Kristin Kirkby Shaw, along with Dr. Felix Duerr and Dr. Gina Bertocci.

The AARV lecture track presentations were:

  • When Can Surgery Help? The Rehab Therapist and Orthopod Working as a Team
    (lecture given Saturday, April 25 only)
    Felix Duerr, DVM, DACVS, Dipl Am Coll Vet Sports Med & Rehab
  • Don't Miss this Diagnosis: Tips and Tricks for Early Diagnosis of Canine Musculoskeletal Disease
    Felix Duerr, DVM, DACVS, Dipl Am Coll Vet Sports Med & Rehab
  • Evidence-Based Medicine in Pain Management
    (lecture given Sunday, April 26 only)
    Kristin Kirkby Shaw, DVM, DACVS, PhD, Dipl Am Coll Vet Sports Med & Rehab
  • Acupuncture: Improve Pain Management in your Rehab Patients
    Carolina Medina, DVM, CVA, Dipl Am Coll Vet Sports Med & Rehab
  • Updates on Canine CCL Research Using Computer-Based Simulation
    Gina Bertocci, PhD, PE, Endowed Chair, Biomechanics

Thank you to our sponsors for their generous and ongoing support of the initiatives of AARV!

For more information, download the STAAR 2015 flyer or visit the STAAR Conference website.

  STAAR flyer 2015

Partners in Veterinary Therapeutics

Companion Therapy Laser logo

Aratana logo

Chi Institute logo

Take the AARV Membership Survey

AARV members: have you taken the AARV 2015 membership survey yet? You will not only be registered to win a $25 Amazon or Starbucks gift card, but you will also help ensure that the AARV Board of Directors understands who the AARV members are and how the organization can best support you. You only need to take the survey once to be entered in the drawings all year.

Please go to the Membership Survey page to get the link to the survey (log-in required).

AARV Announces New Research Grants

AARV has established a competitive annual awards program to add to the evidence base for veterinary rehabilitation by providing grant funds to highly meritorious applications. We encourage individuals to submit grant proposals that advance the science of canine and/or equine rehabilitation.

The total funds available annually to support research applications are $5,000. This is divided equally between two available grants. The AARV Research Grant ($2,500) is for clinical research related to the field of animal rehabilitation. The Aratana Research Grant ($2,500) is for research related to the field of veterinary rehabilitation with the stipulation that the research must be in the areas of pain management and/or stem cell therapy for canine or feline patients.

Applications must be submitted by July 1, 2015. For complete details, please see the Research Grants page on the AARV website.

AARV Announces Call for Abstracts for NAVC 2016

At NAVC 2016, AARV will feature the presentation of original scientific studies pertinent to the science and practice of rehabilitation therapy. Material is currently being considered for verbal presentation (15 minutes) at AARV's track at NAVC. Reviews will be performed by a minimum of two reviewers with final approval by AARV's Board of Directors. All accepted abstracts will be published in AARV's newsletter (February 2016 issue).

Please read the abstract submission guidelines and the AARV at NAVC page for more details. The abstract submission deadline is July 1, 2015.

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Congratulations to M. Christine Zink, DVM, PhD, Dip ACVP, Dipl. American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, the winner of the 2015 John J. Sherman III Award for Excellence in the Field of Veterinary Rehabilitation. presented at AARV's annual conference in January in Orlando, Florida.

Dr. Zink obtained her DVM and PhD from the Ontario Veterinary College. She is a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where she teaches pathology and conducts AIDS research. She also has a consultation business in canine sports medicine and rehabilitation, and is the author of several books and an exercise DVD on canine health. Dr. Zink lectures nationally and internationally on the topic of canine sports medicine. She was named 2009 Outstanding Woman Veterinarian by the Association for Women Veterinarian Foundation and her book, The Agility Advantage, was voted Best Dog Publication of 2008. Dr. Zink is also on the faculty of the Canine Rehabilitation Institute.

Thank you to Mars Petcare (formerly P&G Iams) for your generous sponsorship of this award. We look forward to continuing our relationship for the benefit of our profession, our colleagues, and rehabilitation veterinary medicine.

The John J. Sherman III Award for Excellence in the Field of Veterinary Rehabilitation is named in honor of Dr. John Sherman, a pioneer in veterinary rehabilitation medicine, who passed away in 2010.

At the AARV conference, 2015 AARV President Dr. Kristin Kirkby Shaw also presented a plaque of appreciation to Dr. Rosemary LoGiudice, who finished her term as AARV president.


  Dr. Chris Zink receiving award
Dr. M. Christine Zink (right) accepts the John J. Sherman Award for Excellence in the Field of Veterinary Rehabilitation from Marcie J. Campion, PhD, scientific relations manager at Mars Petcare, at the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians' annual meeting at NAVC in Orlando, Florida.

Dr. Rosemary LoGiudice and Dr. Kristin Kirkby Shaw
Dr. Rosemary LoGiudice (left) receives a plaque of appreciation for her term as 2014 AARV President from Dr. Kristin Kirkby Shaw, the new AARV president.
AARV Board Elections

Thank you to the members who ran for this year's open Board positions and to the AARV members who exercised their right to vote and have their opinions heard.

Congratulations to Dr. Kristyn Richardson on her re-election as Legislative Liaison.

Congratulations to Dr. Jean Tuttle on her election as Secretary.

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Charleston Veterinary Referral Center (CVRC)

The Charleston Veterinary Referral Center is a 24-hour emergency and critical care center and referral specialty hospital located in Charleston, South Carolina. In June, CVRC was awarded a Level I certification by the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, one of only six in the United States and the only center in the Southeast to attain this distinction. CRVC recently expanded its Animal Rehabilitation & Fitness department to offer innovations in specialized animal care. CVRC also recently began treating malignant tumors in dogs and cats with a sophisticated new modality, electrochemotherapy (ECT).

Read more about the Charleston Veterinary Referral Center (CVRC) on our Spotlight Practice page.

Charleston Veterinary Referral Center

Charleston Veterinary Referral Center (CVRC)
Charleston, South Carolina

AARV Members:
Tracy Pejsa, LVT, CCRP, CCMT
Artise Stewart, DVM, CCRP

Order AARV Memorial Cards

AARV has updated its printed memorial cards with original new artwork by artist Carol Lavelle of Hawaii. The new artwork, which was created for AARV, features pawprints, hoofprints and footprints from a variety of animals arranged in a heart.

These memorial cards may be sent to clients of your practice as an expression of sympathy from your staff. The card indicates that you have made a donation to AARV as a way of honoring the life of their companion animal.

Visit the Products page to order cards online with a credit card or check.

  AARV memorial card image
AARV Summary of Pet Insurance Coverage for Rehabilitation Services

AARV has just released an updated version of its summary of pet insurance coverage for rehabilitation services. We believe this information will be helpful to our members and their clients.

To create this chart, we contacted pet insurance companies to collect information regarding coverage of rehabilitation services. Most of the companies were enthusiastic to provide the AARV information about their coverages. The AARV compiled the information received and created a 2-page summary chart in PDF format.

Download the AARV Pet Insurance Summary (PDF)

  Pet insurance summary chart
Presentation Notes Available from the STAAR Symposium

AARV is pleased to provide presentation notes from its lecture track at the 5th Annual Symposium on Therapeutic Advances in Animal Rehabilitation (STAAR), held April 25-27 in Florham Park, New Jersey.

DJO Global logoIn addition to the pre-symposium labs and workshops that have made this symposium so popular, this year's event included a half-day lecture track presented by AARV and sponsored by DJO Global.

The lecture track, entitled "What's on the Horizon? Cutting-Edge Topics in Veterinary Rehabilitation That Impact Your Practice Today," featured 4 great presenters: Joan Coates, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Neuro); our own Kristin Kirkby Shaw, DVM, DACVS, PhD, Dipl. American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation; Pedro Rivera, DVM, Fellow American College of Functional Neurology; and Gina Bertocci, PhD, PE, Endowed Chair Biomechanics, University of Louisville.

Dr. Shaw has made her presentation notes and reference list available to AARV members.

Dr. Kristin Kirkby ShawVeterinary Rehabilitation: Where is the Evidence?
Kristin Kirkby Shaw, DVM, PhD, CCRT, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

According to the Evidence Based Veterinary Medicine Association, evidence-based medicine is "the effort to place all medical decisions on the strongest scientific proof (evidence) available." Although physical rehabilitation is becoming an accepted means of decreasing morbidity, speeding and improving recovery, and enhancing quality of life in veterinary patients, it is essential that an evidence-based approach be used in order to critically evaluate and document the efficacy of rehabilitation. Because it is a young discipline, there is a paucity of clinical veterinary studies regarding rehabilitation on which to base decision-making. Rather, rehabilitation therapists must often turn to the human literature and basic science principles when recommending therapy. The purpose of this discussion will be to review the available literature regarding physical rehabilitation and the clinical use of common therapeutic modalities in small animal patients. Discussion of pharmaceutical interventions, acupuncture, othotic/prosthetics and regenerative medicine is beyond the scope of this review.

Evidence for physical rehabilitation in orthopedic patients
Several authors have documented significant improvement following orthopedic surgery in dogs that participate in physical rehabilitation programs compared to dogs that are cage rested (1-4). The incorporation of physical rehabilitation in to weight management programs significantly improves lameness and weight loss in dogs (5,6).

Continue Reading ...
Go to the Resources page in the Members Only Area to read the rest of Dr. Shaw's presentation notes and see her list of references.

  Joan Coates, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Neuro)
The AARV lecture track at STAAR drew a crowd to hear the four speakers.

Joan Coates, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Neuro)
Joan Coates, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Neuro)

Kristin Kirkby Shaw, DVM, DACVS, PhD, Dipl. American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation
Kristin Kirkby Shaw, DVM, DACVS, PhD, Dipl. American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

Pedro Rivera,         DVM, Fellow American College of Functional Neurology
Pedro Rivera, DVM, Fellow American College of Functional Neurology

Gina Bertocci, PhD, PE, Endowed Chair Biomechanics, University of Louisville
Gina Bertocci, PhD, PE, Endowed Chair Biomechanics, University of Louisville
Become an AARV Member

We invite veterinarians, technicians, allied health professionals, and students to learn more about AARV and the benefits of membership. As a registered non-profit organization, AARV promotes education and research in the field of veterinary rehabilitation. Members attend continuing education programs offered by AARV in conjunction with national veterinary meetings.

AARV offers members knowledge, publicity, a way to speak out about issues, great continuing education opportunities and discounts from AARV partner companies.

For more details about these benefits, please visit our Membership Benefits page.

We encourage all veterinary professionals to become members of AARV.



You may now join AARV or renew your membership online! Payments are accepted by credit card or check.




We have adopted new membership categories, effective November 2013. Dues are the same for new and renewing members.

  • Veterinarian or industry professional: $100
  • Additional member from a practice at which another veterinarian is already a
    current AARV member: $65
  • Veterinary intern or resident: $65
  • Veterinary technician: $40
  • Allied health professional: $40
  • Student in veterinary, technician or physical therapy program: Free

We are also now offering memberships for multiple years! Join or renew for 2 years and guarantee the same membership rate for both years. Join or renew for 3 years and receive a 5% discount. Join or renew for 5 years and receive a 10% discount.

Go to Join AARV or Renew Online to sign up today.

Please contact AARV whenever you change any contact information (especially email) so that we are able to keep you current!

Want to Learn More?

Please click on the menu to the left of this page for detailed information on rehabilitation and to find a rehabilitation veterinarian.




Copyright 2009-15 by the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians. All Rights Reserved.