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CAM Meets Kerrie Oakley

Kerrie Oakley is a RAMP Registered Veterinary Physiotherapist in the South East of England.

Kerrie gained her Veterinary Physiotherapy qualification in 2014, however; prior to this Kerrie had been working in various multi-disciplined vet practices as an RVN as well as 8 years in education teaching a range of topics from Veterinary nursing to Animal Science.  Kerrie runs her own mobile Veterinary Physiotherapy company across Sussex, Surrey and parts of Hampshire and Kent. She has a keen interest in osteoarthritis and its management, which includes educating and promoting its management within the multimodal approach. Kerrie currently tutors the Veterinary Physiotherapy online modules for ONCORE CPD aimed at Veterinary professionals, with one topic in particular covering Physiotherapy for the Geriatric Patient.

Kerrie has kindly taken the time to answer some questions for CAM:

What are your feelings on how we currently manage this common debilitating condition in dogs?

Although there is currently quite a bit of awareness being brought to the attention of pet owners as well as practice staff, there needs to be more! I find that many vet practices don’t offer a multimodal approach to the management of this condition and in some cases physiotherapy and other modalities aren’t even considered.

As a Veterinary Physiotherapist  what do you feel is essential for managing canine  arthritis effectively?

In my role as a Veterinary physiotherapist I often find that we are referred cases when it’s too late and every other avenue has been exhausted. Typically when we see them with such severe arthritis there is very little that we can do. It is so important that physiotherapy and other modalities are implemented at the time of diagnosis in order to break the cycle of this disease. We can’t manage this disease with one method alone and we need to explore all avenues to provide the best quality of life for our dogs.

How do you see treatment options for arthritis progressing over the next ten years?

Veterinary rehabilitation is currently one of the fastest growing areas in the sector and there is a great deal of research going into various treatment modalities as well as new ways to treat and manage various musculoskeletal issues. I am hopeful that in the next 5 years we will have a better understanding of the disease as well as more advances within the multimodal approach. So by the time we get to 10 years we should be able to seriously slow the progression of the disease and have a better grasp on its management with all vet practices offering a dynamic treatment approach.