Animal Rehab Therapist

Barb Lee & Logan Growing up in England I was always surrounded by animals, dogs, cats, birds, fish and rabbits.  When I was 5, I started horseback riding lessons.  Every weekend I would ride and when old enough would spend all weekend at the stables.  Like many young girls I wanted a career with horses but my parents discouraged that, which was good advice.

At the age of 14, I decided I wanted to do physiotherapy as my career.   I went to Salford School of Physiotherapy and thoroughly enjoyed learning the profession.  I worked for 6 years in the UK where I specialized in Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics. In 1985 I married David and emigrated to Canada.  We lived in St Catharines for 8 months before buying a house in Niagara on the Lake.  We soon had our fist pet as a house is not a home without animals.  We adopted a kitten from the humane society, Whisky, shortly followed by our Golden Retriever, Hannah.  We had two children Alexandra and Mark who also share our love for animals. A few years later, Alexandra told us about a cat that was dropped at her friends farm and had kittens the next day.  Of course she wanted a kitten.  Well David and I made her work for that, she had to use all her negotiating skills, promise to feed it and clean out the litterbox.  Of course we agreed, and along came Scooter into our family.  After that came the fish tank followed by 2 budgies and a geko!

I continued to work as a physiotherapist in homecare and in private practice, Animal Rehab Niagara.  When Hannah, our Golden, had sprains and strains I would treat her with my ultrasound, ice and acupuncture and manual therapy techniques.  She always made excellent recoveries until the next time she chased a squirrel!  I realized I loved working with animals but there was very little in the way of formal education in Canada at that time.

A year after Hannah passed away I missed having a dog so much that we decided to adopt Logan, a very laid back German Shepherd who actually has no idea he is a German Shepherd.  He loves everybody and thinks everyone should love him, not be afraid of him. He is quite the personality and gets into all sorts of mischief when left home alone.  Eighteen months ago Alexandra brought home a kitten from her summer work place, where she had been feeding the litter from 4 weeks old.  It was “just for the night” as she was afraid it would get out and be attacked by the dog at the farm.  Of course the kitten stayed and Bella became part of our family and Alexandra went back to school in Edinburgh!  She did the same this summer!  Vet students!  Luckily our neighbour took the kitten and Wally now has a wonderful home.

A few years ago I made a lifelong dream come true, I bought a horse, Malone, and broke and trained him with the help from Alexandra and our coach.    Six months later I also bought a second horse, Gent, as Alexandra and Mark also rode.  Again my physiotherapy skills were invaluable, with sore backs, sprains and strains, muscle injuries, the horses had them all!  With having such good results from treatments, I decided I need to follow a dream that I had had for many years, physiotherapy for animals.  Humans have benefited for many years from physiotherapy so why couldn’t animals?

With Alexandra and Mark grown up I found I had more time to study and take courses in Canine and Equine Rehabilitation.  Through my physiotherapy association I have access to exclusive training in equine and canine rehabilitation.  I have taken the advanced canine course as well as the advanced canine spinal course working towards the Diploma in Canine Rehabilitation.

It is wonderful to be able to relieve pain and rehabilitate our four legged friends and improve their quality of life.  It is a privilege to be part of a teams who care so much for the well-being of animals.

Contact Barabara at 289-969-4732 to make an appointment.

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