Physical Rehabilitation

bulldogvscr logo

Because There’s More To Recovery Than Rest…

Physical rehabilitation is an essential tool in veterinary medicine for many purposes, such as reducing pain and inflammation, improving mobility and function, neuromuscular re-education and increasing the overall comfort of your pet while recovering from injury, surgery, and many other conditions.

Department Contact Information

Phone: 703-242-6000
Fax: 703-242-4770

Physical Rehabilitation as a Standard of Care

Like us, our pets can benefit from physical rehabilitation: to better recover from joint and muscle trauma, orthopedic and neurological surgeries, and for geriatric wellness. Physical rehabilitation is also useful for pets who aren’t injured or sick. For example, many people seek physical therapy programs for their pets to achieve weight loss or for strength training. From canine athletes to working dogs to weekend warriors looking to hit the trail after a quiet season, there are programs and therapies that can benefit nearly every pet.

Customized to Fit Your Pet

Home based exercise plans and rehabilitation programs are customized to each individual pet. We encourage the pet owners to take an active role in their pet’s recovery by meeting with our rehabilitation practitioner to develop a program specific to their pet. Our rehabilitation services are available to all pet owners and are coordinated by our Canine Rehabilitation professionals and with your pet’s primary care veterinarian.

Physical Rehabilitation Services

  • Underwater and Land-Based Treadmill Exercise
  • Therapeutic Ultrasound
  • Electro-Stimulation
  • Laser Therapy
  • Therapeutic Massage, Stretching and Range of Motion
  • Proprioception and Balance Exercise
  • Neuromuscular Re-education
  • Cold and Heat Therapy
  • Pain Management
  • Acupuncture
  • Orthotics, Prosthetics and Assistance Devices

Advanced Pain Management

Pain management has grown in the past several years to incorporate more than just non-steroidal and narcotic pain relievers. Pain management is essential with acute injuries and post-operative care, but also important in our pet’s with chronic pain or dysfunction. Physical rehabilitation and complementary modalities such as Acupuncture can supplement medications or surgical intervention, if needed, to help improve our pets function and overall quality of life. New modalities continue to be developed and become more readily available every year to help our pets live a longer, more comfortable life.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is a non-invasive, painless process that utilizes light to stimulate cells and increase blood flow. It has been effective in treating soft tissue damage, reducing pain and inflammation, and increasing cell growth. Sessions are short and often done in conjunction with physical therapy exercises.


Acupuncture has been practiced throughout the world – most notably in Eastern cultures, for thousands of years. The practice of Acupuncture is becoming more widely used in all cultures, either alone or in combination with Western Medicine, for a variety of ailments. This practice primarily promotes integrated medicine – using acupuncture in combination with more conventional therapy to achieve the best outcome.

Acupuncture is frequently a tool reached for as part of a comprehensive physical rehabilitation and/or pain management program and is commonly used as part of a treatment plan for the following:

  • Musculoskeletal problems: arthritis and soft tissue injuries
  • Neurologic disorders: Intervertebral disc disease, paralysis, nerve paralysis, seizures
  • Gastrointestinal disorders: Diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia
  • Respiratory problems: asthma, bronchitis
  • Urinary disorders: feline cystitis, urinary incontinence
  • Skin disorders: lick granulomas, allergic dermatitis, ear infections
  • Ophthalmologic disorders: corneal ulcers, KCS

Rehabilitation Practitioners

  • Cameron Weber, DVM, Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner

    Dr. Cameron Pickett Weber grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and graduated from Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a minor in German Studies. She continued her education by earning her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005.

    After graduation, Dr. Weber moved to the Northern Virginia area and began working at Pender Veterinary Centre as a general and emergency small animal practitioner. She decided to pursue her interest in rehabilitation medicine and became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner through the University of Knoxville, Tennessee, in December 2012.

    Dr. Weber joined the rehabilitation department at Veterinary Surgical Centers in May 2013. Her interests include swimming, travel and reading. She especially enjoys spending time with friends, family, her husband and their rambunctious dog, Arya.

  • Julie Wentzel, DVM, CCRP

    Specializing in pain management and acupuncture, Dr. Julie Wentzel is an integral member of our rehabilitation team.

    Dr. Wentzel grew up in Annapolis, MD and attended Virginia Tech, graduating in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry and Wildlife. She furthered her education by earning a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University Of Illinois College Of Veterinary Medicine.

    She completed a Small Animal Internship at Anne Arundel Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Annapolis, MD where she remained an associate for 7 years.

    She completed her Certified Veterinary Acupuncture courses in 2013 and is currently working on her Canine Rehabilitation Therapist and Veterinary Pain Practitioner certifications. She is passionate about treating acute and chronic pain to improve her patient’s quality of life and assist in their return to a more active lifestyle.

    In her free time, Dr. Wentzel enjoys spending time with her husband, three children and 3 cats. She also enjoys gardening, bird watching, volleyball, and running.

    After moving with her family to Leesburg, VA, she spent 2 years serving as an emergency clinician before joining Veterinary Surgical Centers.

  • Heather York, DVM, CCRT

    Dr. Heather York graduated with honors from the University of Vermont with bachelor degrees in Animal/Dairy science and Biological sciences. After graduation, Dr. York worked as an International Training Specialist for Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, followed by a position as an instructor at the University of Vermont in the Department of Animal Science.

    After receiving her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Massey University in New Zealand, Dr. York completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Ocean State Veterinary Specialists in Rhode Island and a surgical internship at the Animal Specialty Center in New York City.

    Dr. York discovered a passion for orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation therapy and she was later awarded a Fellowship at Veterinary Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Maryland, with primary focus on orthopedic surgery, regenerative medicine, rehabilitation and sports medicine. During this time, Dr. York completed extensive training and obtained national certification as a Canine Rehabilitation Therapist (CCRT) from the Canine Rehab Institute and Colorado State University. Her special interests include orthotics and prosthetics, geriatric medicine, osteoarthritis and pain management. In her free time Dr. York enjoys sailing, mountain biking and trail running with her golden retrievers, Madison and Cabot.

  • Kasey Braun, LVT, CCRP

    Kasey Braun graduated from Argosy University of Minnesota in 2002 receiving her degree as a licensed veterinary technician with extended certifications in wildlife and marine mammal science.

    She then went to Sarasota FL for her internship at Mote Marine Dolphin and Whale Hospital. While in Florida, she worked for a wildlife rehabilitation sanctuary, finding her love for rehabilitation. She wanted to relate this passion for therapy to the companion and working canines so she then continued her education at the University of Tennessee, where she became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner in 2007.

    Her special interests are teaching rehabilitation and canine fitness. She is an outdoor adventurer and spends much of her time with her family as well as hiking, camping and gardening. She currently lives in Herndon, VA with her husband and two pups “Gertie” and “Lucy” and her cat “Oliver”.

  • Ashleigh Fairfield, LVT, CCRP

    A Northern Virginia native, Ashleigh began her veterinary career in 2004 as an assistant for a small animal practice in Herndon. There she developed a love for nursing care and medicine which encouraged her to pursue her technician license. Ashleigh graduated from the Northern Virginia Community College Veterinary Technology program, summa cum laude, in 2009.

    Shortly before graduating Ashleigh began working for Veterinary Surgical Centers and became interested in rehabilitative medicine. She graduated from the University of Tennessee’s Canine Rehabilitation program in 2012. She has been exuberantly practicing rehabilitation ever since.

    Ashleigh has worked in a variety of veterinary settings (surgical, oncologic, and emergency to name a few) which she feels has given her a unique perspective on rehabilitation medicine. She is passionate about reducing discomfort and improving quality of life and gains particular fulfillment in treating oncologic and geriatric patients.

    Her professional interests include pain management, osteoarthritis management, and rehabilitative nursing care. She is a member of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) and hopes to become a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner in the near future.

    Ashleigh shares her home with her cat, “Michael”, her Beagle, “Harvey”, and her Borzoi “Mstislav.”

  • Lynn Nalepa, LVT, CCRP

    Lynn Nalepa grew up in West Virginia. She graduated from Fairmont State University in 1992 at the top of her class in Veterinary Technology.

    She has experience in both specialty and general veterinary technology. She also has experience in teaching veterinary assistance as well as canine CPR and first aid.

    Her special interest in pain management led her to attend the University of Tennessee to become a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner.

    She is currently working on her certification in veterinary pain management. Lynn enjoys spending time with family and lives in Springfield, VA with her husband, son, and Standard Poodle, Tinkerbell.

Hospital Location: 140 Park Street SE
Vienna, VA 22180
Contact Numbers: Tel (703) 281-5121
Fax (703) 281-0149

For non-medical questions or comments: Email Us