CAM blogs

CAM Meets May Römer-Bartels

May Römer-Bartels – Registered Animal physiotherapist since 1984, currently working in DierGezondheidsCentrum Hilversum , Netherlands

May is co-founder, past president and honorary member of the NVFD, Dutch Animal Physiotherapy Association. May is co-founder and past president of the IAVRPT –  International Association of Veterinary Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy, she is on the board of directors and is currently president-elect. May has been involved in organising the last 6  IAVRPT symposiums. She helped to develop the Dutch animal physiotherapy course and the German canine animal physiotherapy course.  May regularly lectures and is also a part-time teacher at Akademie für tierärztliche Fortbildung (animal physiotherapy course for German veterinarians) and part-time teacher at Physio Akademie (animal physiotherapy course for German physiotherapists)

May  is also a member of the VHH (Dutch veterinary hydrotherapy organisation).

May kindly agreed to answer the following questions:

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

Although many dogs suffer from arthritis and many veterinarians and physiotherapists give their best efforts to help them, there is not enough collaboration. We need a shared view and a constructive way of working together, vets and physios, for the well-being of our patients.


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

Collaboration between all the professionals that the pet owner meets. Better information for the pet owner and the same information from all the different professionals. We all have to speak the same language and have to give the same advice.


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

I am convinced that the interaction between human and veterinary medicine will result in understanding arthritis better and thus in better treatment options and prevention.


If you could have the opportunity to give one tip/ piece of advice to an owner with a dog suffering from arthritis what would it be?

Observe your dog carefully. What do you think your dog needs? Are you acting that way? For instance: think about the activity of your dog. Is it sufficient, or is it too much? Is your dog worse after a walk? Trust your gut feeling and act accordingly.