Companion Animal Physical Rehabilitation

Tuition and Fees

Program Title: Companion Animal Physical Rehabilitation
Credential Earned: Ontario College Graduate Certificate
Delivery: Full Time
Program Length: 2 Semesters
Program Status: Waitlisted

Program Codes
NORT- H151 (HL) Haileybury Campus – Waitlisted
Program codes are for September intakes except those that are indicated differently.


  • Program Description
    Northern College is proud to introduce a graduate one-year certificate program for veterinary technicians in response to emerging animal health care needs. Physical rehabilitation helps animals recover more quickly and fully from injury, and can help the “furry family members” live life to the fullest with minimal pain and discomfort. The same health needs arise in dogs and cats as they age, that we find in humans. Whether they are recovering from hip replacement or just need to lose weight, rehabilitation is the key. This program will address the patient needs and demonstrate the pivotal role technicians play in improving the quality of life for the pet.

    Physical rehabilitation is becoming part of everyday veterinary medicine. It is emerging as an important complementary form of care that is a valuable professional asset for veterinary technicians who have undertaken this additional qualification. They provide this specialized care within the context of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship, helping to extend the range of services offered within a veterinary practice.

    Career Opportunities
    Veterinary clinics, private rehabilitation facilities and pet daycare’s with conditioning/fitness programs as well as a variety of other opportunities.

  • The facilities are up-to-date and...

    Samantha Airdrie

    in some ways, ahead of other institutions. My professors had all worked in the veterinary field and could add real-world experience to our theory classes. Faculty are genuinely interested in your success; they go out of their way to make sure you succeed. My favourite part of the Vet Tech program was definitely working hands on with animals, which doesn't happen at every school. It gives you a great picture of what the profession is all about. - Samantha Airdrie, Companion Animal Physical Rehabilitation program, Veterinary Technician program, Veterinary Assistant and Animal Grooming program.


Contact Information
Nancy Goudreault, RVT
Veterinary Sciences Coordinator
Tel: 705-672-3376 ext. 8841
goudreaultn@northern.on.ca

Admission Requirements
Graduate of a Veterinary Technician program.
Proof of rabies vaccination, showing a current protective titre.
Some experience in a veterinary clinic or hospital is considered an asset.

Semester 1
RE1002 Introduction to Animal Physical Rehabilitation
RE1012 Pathophysiology of Pain and Analgesics
RE1014 Therapeutic Techniques
RE1015 Advanced Anatomy
RE1022 Companion Animal Massage
RE1025 Canine Assessment
RE2013 Aquatherapy

Semester 2
RE2003 Electrotherapeutic Modalities
RE2006 Clinical Cases
RE2015 Advanced Physiology
RE2022 Companion Animal Massage – Practice
RE2023 Neurologic and Orthopaedic Conditions

Semester 1

RE1002 Introduction to Animal Physical Rehabilitation
This course covers legalities, goals, benefits and applications to common orthopaedic and neurological conditions.

RE1005 Advanced Physiology I
Focusing on muscle, cartilage, bone, the nervous system and lymphatics. This is an in-depth course requiring students to name origins and insertions of individual muscles and their function. Lectures would be accompanied by a laboratory component requiring identification of individual muscle groups on live animals, as well as dissection of fresh or preserved animal bodies.

RE1006 Canine Assessment
The student would learn how to conduct a neurological and orthopaedic examination on dogs in order to assess gait, posture and movement. Topics would include assessing range of motion and assigning a lameness score. Review of the importance of palpitation in order to detect swellings and lumps will be emphasized. Videos and live demonstrations will be used to demonstrate normal and abnormal canine gaits.

RE1016 Therapeutic Modalities
This course reviews the various modalities available for canine physical rehabilitation. These include techniques such as stretching, strengthening and proprioception exercises, application of heat and cold packs, analgesics and massage. These techniques will be applied in a laboratory setting to selected cases.

RE1012 Pathophysiology of Pain & Analgesics
The pathophysiology of pain is covered in depth in this course. Pain sensation, transduction, transmission and perception are discussed, together with ways by which pain pathways can be interrupted. The complementary role of analgesics in contributing to successful companion animal rehabilitation is explored. Students learn about the benefits and risks of specific analgesics that a veterinarian may prescribe to companion animals.

Semester 2

RE2005 Advanced Physiology II
Building on the skills acquired in the first semester, the second semester focuses on regional anatomy with respect to muscles, cartilage, bone, nerves and lymphatics. The effects of immobilization and disuse are discussed along with the role of rehabilitation exercises in reversing the deleterious effects of disuse.

RE2014 Aquatherapy
The student learns how to develop a protocol for an individual case based on patient assessment. The course builds on therapeutic modalities introduced in the first semester and expands on the role of aquatherapy in rehabilitation.

RE2004 Electrotherapeutic Modalities
The student is introduced to the concepts and use of electric stimulation (E-stim), low level laser and ultrasound as applied to canine physiotherapy.

RE2024 Common Canine Neurologic and Orthopaedic Conditions
The pathophysiology of common neurologic and orthopaedic conditions is covered. Conditions that accompany ageing in canines are covered in detail.

RE2034 Companion Animal Massage
Canine massage is a useful technique for many reasons. Massage techniques will be covered in detail in this physical rehabilitation course.