Many of the same health problems that affect us, including hearing loss, also affect our pets. Fortunately, most pets adapt very well to the disability with a little help from their owners.View Article
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Kathryn Marles – MVMC Rehabilitation
At the Maine Veterinary Medical Center our rehabilitation experts have experience and knowledge in many disciplines, including neurology, orthopedics, myology, biomechanics and pain management.
Kathryn Marles is one of MVMC’s leading performers of rehabilitation. Kathryn was one of the first technicians in the country to be certified as a licensed veterinary technician sub-specializing in neurology. She has been certified by the Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians (AIMVT). Katie has had the unique opportunity to sit amongst the original charter founders, and assist in the composition of test questions, knowledge lists and proficiency needs for future applicants seeking a similar sub-specialty certification in neurology.
We are proud to share that Kathryn Marles has recently obtain another certification in the discipline of rehabilitation (10.5.2015). Kathryn has been licensed to be a CCRA (certified canine rehabilitation assistant) by the Canine Rehabilitation Institute (CRI). Kathryn has worked hard and traveled far for her credentials and rehabilitative virtuoso, taking classes in Florida and Colorado along the way. She has been published on numerous veterinary topics and we at MVMC could not be more thrilled about her success! Bravo Katy!
Kathryn’s penchant for rehabilitation comes from over 20 years assisting animals through the many stages of illness and recovery. She has been a license technician since 1996. The bulk of her practice began at The Animal Neurological Clinic of Portland, Maine and has continued with the evolution and growth of that enterprise into what is now known as the Maine Veterinary Medical Center of Scarborough. She has worked alongside many of her colleagues for well over a decade. This kinship resonates in her professional grace. She holds a leading part in the symphony of skillful hands here. MVMC has had the great fortune of her dedication.
While Marles has many veterinary interests within the field of neurology: imaging, critical monitoring and histopothology - to name a few - rehabilitation employs her synergistic capacity. The success of her efforts creates a constant calling.
MVMC offers five types of rehabilitative care all of which Katie is uniquely qualified to perform: thermal modalities, aquatic therapy, low level laser therapy, manual therapy and general therapeutic exercises.
Thermal modalities: Cryotherapy (Cold Therapy) effects include inflammation and pain control. Heat therapy effects includes improved circulation to tissues, increased in the rate of enzymatic and biochemical reactions to facilitate healing, and prior to stretching, allows greater extensibility of tissues during range of motion therapies.
Aquatic Therapy in an Underwater Treadmill: Buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure, viscosity, resistance and surface tension are physical properties of water that can produce specific therapeutic benefits. The many benefits of aqautic therapy include assisted weight bearing, improved strength and endurance, cardiovascular fitness, range of motion, agility, balance, proprioception, decrease joint effusion and peripheral edema.
Low Level Laser Treatment: Increasing cellular ATP production by using laser energy increases the quality and speed of tissue repair and wound healing, stimulates nerve function, decreases inflammation and reduces pain.
Manual Therapies: Range of motion and stretching exercises help to improve joint motion and flexibility, prevent adhesions between soft tissue and bone and improve extensibility. Neuromuscular therapy (Trigger point therapy) is used to normalize soft tissue circulation and reduce muscle spasms and pain.
Therapeutic Exercises: Assisted standing and walking exercise with therapy balls, controlled leash walks, treadmill, wheel barrowing, sit to stand activities, stair climbing, stepping over rails pulling or carrying weight, playing ball, decline and incline walking are examples of therapeutic exercises. These exercises provide opportunity to develop endurance, balance and coordination, increase muscle tone and enhance a patient's psychological well-being.
While MVMC has number of rehabilitative aids including a high tech supportive lift engineered by Barton Medical Corporation, cavaletti rails and a Furno underwater treadmill, enough cannot be said about the personal touch. Marles uses these aids frequently she but oft prefers to hand carry her clients, treating each movement as a part of her own. In this way she is able to notice subtle improvements and even the slightest degradation. On sunny days Katie will move her patients into the gardens or a shady spot in the courtyard for a hyper-therapeutic rehab session among fragrant day lilies, decorative shrubs, towering pines and fulsome ferns.
The natural environment is very encouraging for her patients as it offers many indirect benefits. The ability to feel different substrates, such as when an animal paws the dirt or rolls in a grassy area enhances proprioception. Katie can routinely be seen supportively guiding her patients within the extended medical wings, around the cul-de-sac that juxtaposes the drive-in entrance or meandering along the trails that lace the far side of hospital grounds.
Katie employs her own devices, custom made carriers she calls Katies Karriers ™, designed to help aid in the lifting and forward motion of peripatetic pets.
Outside of work, she is kept busy with her husband Brian, her three children Tugg, Solveig and Sierra, her pointer (Mac), her mixed breed (Bessie), her 3 cats Dora, Cleitus and Sebastian, her turtle, rabbit and 6 chickens.
For more information about the rehabilitative services at MVMC please visit our rehabilitation page, call us or email us using the contact links below.