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Rehabilitation Therapy

Canine massage is a therapeutic discipline that involves directly working with all of the soft tissues of a dog’s body in order to assist the dog in achieving relief from a variety of physical and emotional challenges, including muscular soreness, chronic stress, and more.

The many benefits of massage include:
 

  • Enhance muscle tone and range of motion.

  • Reduces inflammation and swelling in the joints, thereby alleviating pain.

  • Promotes the healing process by increasing the flow of nutrients to the muscles, and aiding in carrying away excessive fluids and toxins.

  • Creates a positive effect on the contractual and release process of the muscles...releasing tension...relaxing muscles.

  • Stimulates circulation by: defrosting frozen muscles, thereby releasing endorphins - the body's natural pain killers.

  • Helps to maintain the whole body in better physical condition.

Meet our rehabilitation therapists

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Leah Stapelman
DPT, CCRT

I graduated from Carroll University in 2018 with my doctorate in physical therapy. While in college I enjoyed competing in golf and swim. Since graduation I specialized in lymphedema and canine physical therapy.

 

I received my certification in canine physical therapy from the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in 2021. I was inspired to go into canine rehab when our family’s Golden Retriever, Savannah, was no longer able to use her hind legs.

 

I’ve always had a love for animals and a desire to improve their quality of life. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my dog Cali, a Shepherd/Blue Heeler Mix, running, and spending time outdoors. 

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Vicky Price
CVT, CVMRT

My career in the veterinary field began in 1998.  In 2009 I went on to become a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT).  I completed postgraduate education and training through The Healing Oasis in 2018, becoming a Certified Veterinary Massage and Rehabilitation Therapist (CVMRT).  I furthered my canine massage training at Canis Bodyworks in 2019, completing courses in general massage therapy, myofascial trigger point therapy, lymphatic massage, orthopedic friction for tendon and ligament healing, oncology massage for cancer care, and canine trust building to help our four-legged friends feel more at ease during their session.  More recently, I have also completed workshops in the art of Chinese Medical Massage, known as Tui Na.

 

Beyond massage and rehab, I am also a level one reiki practitioner through Usui Shiki Ryoho, and a level one medicinal aromatherapist with Wisdom of the Earth. I often incorporate both essential oils and reiki in massage sessions.

 

During the summer of 2018, I joined the wonderful team here at IVS.  I have a little mix breed dog named Patchouli and a sassy cat, Winifred.  In my spare time, I like to write short stories, learn to knit, take selfies with my dog, go to the farmer’s market and craft fairs, and help with Monarch butterfly conservation. 

 

Having the opportunity to work with animals in this capacity is a blessing. Whether helping improve their quality of life, post-op rehab, conditioning healthy athletes, or providing comfort care, rehabilitation therapy can be beneficial for animals at all stages of their life. I feel most passionate about providing healing therapies for senior and palliative care pets through massage therapy. When I see the appreciation in an animal’s eyes after working with them, it is a very fulfilling moment. 

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Dani Schmidt
CVT, CCRVN

Dani, CVT, CCRVN is a Certified Veterinary Technician who joined the IVS team in 2019. She has worked across the veterinary field for over a decade, and obtained certification as a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Veterinary Nurse through the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in 2022. She is particularly passionate about geriatric care, and loves to help senior pets continue to thrive in their golden years. In her free time, Dani enjoys hiking with her husband and two dogs, exploring the Milwaukee restaurant scene, and traveling.